Killeavy Castle owners plan for return to ‘former glory’
Tuesday, 17 December 2013
KILLEAVY Castle could soon be one of the district's prime tourist attractions.
That's the claim made by the new owners of the Tudoresque castle, set on 330 acres near Slieve Gullion Forest Park.
The husband and wife have given up their lives in Australia to take root in south Armagh, where his parents grew up before emigrating Down Under in the 1960s. Now, after three decades of regular visits, the couple have relocated and taken on the task of restoring Killeavy Castle the Grade A Listed Building to its former glory.
The castle was acquired by a husband and wife team earlier this year.
“We think this is one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland and indeed the world," the couple said in a press statement. "Australia has been very good to us but we feel very much at home here. We aim to make this venture a success and hope it can become a catalyst for other investment in the Border areas and have a very positive impact on the whole Newry district."
Describing their vision for the future of Killeavy Castle and Demesne as operating "within a financially viable
hospitality and agriculture business, so that it can be maintained and be available for use by the public for many
years", the owners said they hope the renovated castle "will not only be a favourite with locals but it will be an All-Ireland destination that will develop into an international attraction."
And, with a Design Team already in place, led by Newry-based architects P O'Hagan & Associates, the owners hope to see work start on the site next year and be completed within two years of commencement.
“As with the design, it is intended that the construction work will be carried out by local labour and tradespeople," they said. "The aim is for the whole venture, from planning, through construction and operation, to bring important inward economic investment and long-term local employment to the area around the castle."
The completed project will create 85 jobs, 72 of which will be full-time posts.
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