Ballyhoura Development key to success of Doneraile Park


Ballyhoura Development key to success of Doneraile Park

The continued improvement to amenities at Doneraile Park, which has seen an increase in visitor numbers in recent times, is now under threat due to the likely demise of Ballyhoura Development.

Thursday, 28 March 2013
4:00 AM GMT

Ballyhoura Development and its support has been central to the success of the Doneraile Park and tea rooms and as the demise of Ballyhoura Development appears to be on the horizon, the people of Doneraile are appealing for the continuation of this invaluable service.

A spokesperson said that Ballyhoura and its continued services 'will be key to the long term survival of this village community. It recognises that the court and demesne was once the engine of growth for Doneraile. It can be again. The absence of Ballyhoura Ltd from this process would result in a slow and inexorable relegation and diminuition of the potential of this community'.

Ordinarily, small villages similar to Doneraile in size would have a church, school and primary school and they would be assisted by Ballyhoura in terms of community council development and grant aid for local projects. However, in Doneraile, there is a significant history, which dates back to the 17th Century and today, that history lives on through the estate village, Doneraile Court and Park and the demesne and garden features.

The people of Doneraile feel that without the help, assistance and support of Ballyhoura Development, it would not have been possible to develop the amenity to such a degree.


More than 100,000 visitors come to the park each year and the Doneraile Development Association and Ballyhoura Development worked together to form a steering group, which also included the Office of Public Works, Cork County Council, Failte Ireland and Mallow Area Partnership, to capitalise on the opportunities that the park could offer. Through this steering group, a masterplan was developed, with each phase of development increasing visitor access and local employment.

"As the organisation most focused upon local community development with funding and administrative supports, Ballyhoura Ltd has been key to the implementation of the masterplan. It has the capacity to conduct and fund research, to lease property and to employ staff directly and indirectly. All of this has advanced the phased development of the park to an immeasurable degree," a spokesperson for the Doneraile community said.


In the past six months, a 50-seater tearoom was set up and from this month, a farmers' market is taking place fortnightly. There are also plans to develop the historic gardens, new woodland pathways and ultimately, the court itself will also be open to visitors.

"The presence of an agency such as Ballyhoura Ltd has been fundamental to the oversight and delivery of such a project, which requires the close coordination of a range of development agencies. Its remit allows Ballyhoura to take a lead in the realisation of a project on such a site of significant conservation value, which will see over 300,000 visitors per year in five to seven years," the spokesperson added.

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