The Office of Public Works (OPW) Heritage Site the Céide Fields has won the prestigious Carlo Scarpa international landscape award for Gardens. At a ceremony today in the Céide Fields Visitor Centre in Mayo, the Minister for the OPW and Flood Relief Kevin “Boxer” Moran T.D., in the presence of Michael Ring, T.D., Minister for Rural and Community Development welcomed the bringing home of the Award which will now be proudly on display in the Visitor Centre.
Every year the Italian Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche awards the International Carlo Scarpa Prize for Gardens – to attract attention to a site which is particularly rich in natural, historical and creative values. This year the Céide Fields was among many significant sites that were considered by the Foundation for 2018. Against stiff competition, the Céide Fields was selected as the overall winner of the award for 2018.
Speaking about the award and the Céide Fields Kevin “Boxer” Moran, Minister for the OPW and Flood Relief said, “The Céide Fields has both a fascinating recent and ancient history and is a great example of sustainable tourism. Located on the hugely popular Wild Atlantic Way, the Céide Fields attracts some 30,000 visitors to the Centre annually. It is somewhat of a hidden gem and I’m sure that winning this international award will help to propel this wonderful heritage site, which is older than the pyramids, onto the world stage and bring it to a wider audience to enjoy and cherish for future generations”.
The Céide Fields is one of the four OPW heritage sites on the Wild Atlantic Way for which funding totalling €4.3 million is being made available from Fáilte Ireland, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the OPW. Minister Moran went on to say, “An investment of €1.15 million will be made in the Céide Fields Visitor Centre which will provide a brand new exhibition and interpretation space to showcase new archaeological material and knowledge about the site and the surrounding area. I am delighted to confirm that the OPW has already been hard at work with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Fáilte Ireland on this proposal preparing the concept design and laying out what the visitor experience of the future will be; and tenders will be invited this week from designers and contractors to make this vision a reality”.
His Excellency, Mr. Paolo Serpi, Ambassador of Italy to Ireland, said, “I am delighted that the Carlo Scarpa Prize for Gardens has been awarded to the Céide Fields: another beautiful parallel between Irish and Italian landscapes and historical monuments”.
Minister Michael Ring said, “The Céide Fields is building serious momentum as a top class attraction and this award will help bring more visitors to this most fascinating of places. The Wild Atlantic Way has put Céide Fields on the map and the Government’s National Development Plan includes major improvements to the Céide Fields Visitor Experience. More than 30,000 people already visit the Centre annually. I have no doubt that with this significant Government investment and increasing recognition such as today’s award, the number of visitors will increase significantly. I may be slightly biased but I believe that the north Mayo coast where the Céide Fields is located, is one of the most beautiful parts of Europe. The increasing popularity of this rugged and majestic coastline benefits both the local community and the people lucky enough to visit”.