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No plan to privatise parks - Deenihan

Monday, April 14 14:43:45

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan has said that there are no plans whatsoever to sell Ireland's national parks or to privatise the management, preservation or conservation of these parks.

In a statement today, Minister Deenihan said: "There are six national parks in Ireland. They are exceptional places. They are owned by the people. They are held in trust by those living today for future generations. This will not change. There are no plans whatsoever to sell these parks. There are no plans whatsoever to privatise the management, preservation and conservation of these parks." Staff of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht's National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) secure and preserve the national parks and also oversee a network of nature reserves, Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) across the State.

Visitors to national parks can also enjoy other services, including education services, catering services, recreational services, transport services, and viewings of historic properties at some of the sites.

Some of these services have been directly provided by private individuals and companies, while others have been provided by contractors on a fixed-term contract to the Department, for example catering facilities at national parks in Killarney, Glenveagh, Connemara, and Ballycroy, Co Mayo. Cleaning contracts at Ballycroy, Connemara, Glenveagh and Killarney National Parks are also in place.

The Department is also examining ways to expand education services on an outreach basis by working with agencies such as the Heritage Council.