Visitor attractions across Ireland’s Ancient East are benefitting from a €2.3m investment from Fáilte Ireland, which will see technology and interactive experiences being unveiled across some of the region’s best known destinations.
The first of 19 projects co-funded by Fáilte Ireland was opened on 1st July, at the Bishop’s Palace in Waterford. Fáilte Ireland invested €200k, and the project received funding from Waterford City & County Council. Emagine, a local creative agency, was also involved. Minister of State at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation John Halligan T.D was in attendance at the opening.
Masterpieces in Glass is a new 4D experience which brings to life the history of glassmaking in Waterford. Using augmented reality, visitors can explore rare objects used in glassmaking in the county over three centuries. The experience is available in French and Mandarin. It will complement the already successful visitor attraction in the House of Waterford Crystal, which attracts almost a quarter of a million visitors annually.
Fáilte Ireland research shows visitors want high impact attractions that they can ‘immerse’ themselves in. Visitors want hands-on experiences that bring sites, local culture and heritage to life.
Fáilte Ireland launched the Ireland’s Ancient East Storytelling Interpretation Investment Scheme in 2017 to transform the quality of interpretation, animation and storytelling at existing heritage and visitor attractions throughout area.
Minister Halligan said: “Ireland’s Ancient East attracts visitors from across the country and overseas thanks to its rich history and culture. Waterford is an integral part of Ireland’s Ancient East, and I’m delighted to unveil the new Masterpieces in Glass experience at the amazing Bishop’s Palace today which will help to raise the county’s profile as a culturally-rich destination.”
Eamonn McEneaney, Director of Waterford Treasures, commented: “This extraordinarily generous grant from Fáilte Ireland through the Ireland’s Ancient East brand has allowed us to transform our offering into a very exciting and memorable visitor experience, the likes of which has not been seen before in Ireland. It will create a dynamic synergy between the Museum and House of Waterford Crystal for which Waterford city is world-famous and give our visitors a world-class visitor experience.”