Two of Laois’ most prestigious historical sites received a Ministerial visit recently, when the ongoing works at Emo Court and Heywood Gardens received glowing progress reports from TD Brian Hayes.
The Minister of State at the OPW was in Laois to meet with Deputy Charlie Flanagan, to inspect the construction works underway on the new circular lake and woodland walkway in Emo Court, and also view the works in progress on the new bus and car park at Heywood Gardens, two of the OPW’s premier historic properties.
“I’m very pleased with progress to date on the Emo Court walkway. The plan is ambitious and when finished, will enable visitors to take in the fantastic views of the 18th century, James Gandon designed, parkland and house,” said Minister Hayes.
“We in OPW are proud to manage Emo on behalf of the State and have made considerable improvements in the recent past, including a new tearoom and the permanent exhibition of the Fr Browne photographs.”
Deputy Flanagan was no less effusive in his praise, saying that when completed the 2km circular walkway around Emo Court lake will be one of the finest walkways in the country.
“This is a fantastic amenity to have within our county and I have no doubt that it will see extensive use when it opens in April,” said Deputy Flanagan.
Later that day the ministerial retinue proceeded to Heywood Gardens, where the work on the new car park facilities was roundly praised.
“These new amenities will greatly enhance the visitor’s experience by guiding them through the 18th century romantic landscape, replete with man-made lakes, woodland pathways and follies, before leading to the famous Edwin Lutyens designed gardens,” said the Minister.
Deputy Flanagan described the gardens as “a real hidden gem in Laois” and said he hoped that the addition of a the new car park would entice more visitors to this beautiful amenity.