Since acquiring The Shackleton Garden in 2017, Fingal County Council has been working on its restoration with a view to opening the Garden up to the public as an important local amenity, visitor attraction and tourism asset in the Dublin 15 area. The restoration works have involved the rebuilding of large sections of the garden walls, upgrading of paths and the restoration of garden buildings. The works are part of a €400,000 investment from Fingal County Council and Fáilte Ireland.
Today, 17 September, the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Seána Ó Rodaigh, officially opened The Shackleton Garden in the presence of the Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, TD, Fingal County Councillors, Oireachtas members, Volunteers and members of the Shackleton Family.
The Garden will open to the public from next Monday, 20 September. It will be initially open to the public from 10am to 3pm, Monday to Thursday, and from 9am to 1pm on Fridays.
Speaking at the launch today, The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr. Seána Ó Rodaigh, said: “Fingal County Council, the Shackleton Garden volunteers and our contractors have worked tirelessly over the past few years in order to restore these beautiful gardens. It is an absolute delight to be here today and to see the massive amount of work that has gone into this project. I am so glad to be able to officially open The Shackleton Garden today and I look forward to seeing Fingal residents and visitors enjoying this wonderful addition to the Dublin 15 area when it is opened to the public.”
The Gardens, which are inside a 1.5-acre walled garden, are home to a wide range of rare and exotic plants including an important collection of herbaceous perennials, grown in large flower borders.
During the 1980s, the Gardens were included in The Good Gardens Guide and were awarded two stars. This is the highest accolade awarded by the Guide and reserved for the very best gardens in the British Isles.
The history of the Shackleton Family and their connection with the Garden is also of significant public interest. The Council will continue to use the detailed 1994 plant list compiled by the Shackleton Family as a baseline for the continued management of the plant collection.
Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly, said: “I am delighted to see The Shackleton Garden open officially today. The Garden will provide a fantastic tourist attraction for Dublin 15 and will be an excellent addition to the Liffey Valley Trail in Fingal. I want to congratulate everyone who has worked on this project over the past few years, you have done yourselves, the Council and the Shackleton family proud. It is an honour to be at the official launch today and I look forward to sharing this beautiful space along with its extensive plant collection with the public.”
Orla Carroll, Director of Product Development of Fáilte Ireland, said: “Developing must-visit attractions for domestic and international visitors is a key part of our recovery post COVID. Fáilte Ireland is committed to developing world-class attractions around Ireland and we are excited to see The Shackleton Garden open its doors to visitors. The walled gardens and glasshouses have been beautifully restored and new signage and interpretation has been installed to tell the story of this fantastic collection of plants and enhance the visitor experience.”
The Shackleton Garden is located within easy walking distance of a large urban population in Dublin 15 and is immediately adjacent to the commuter rail station at Clonsilla. The ease of access by rail, bus, foot and road will make the Garden a suitable attraction for locals and tourists alike.