THE decision by the OPW to close Desmond Castle indefinitely has come as a huge shock to those involved in tourism as well as members of the Kinsale History Society, as it will remove one of the few indoor attractions for tourists and locals.
The closure is necessary because of the need of urgent structural and remedial work to the building. The OPW has also decided to close the Wine Museum (the artefacts on loan from Ted Murphy have already been removed) and the other parts of the exhibition in the castle will also be removed as it seems that, while there is as yet no decision made on the future use of the building and the type of display to be provided in terms of modern technology, the existing panels and other items will no longer be included.
Numbers visiting the castle in recent years have been dropping while Charles Fort has broken the 100,000-visitor barrier in 2017. The future of the building is very much in the air, so it seems an ideal time to consider it as the location for a proper Battle of Kinsale Centre, as the space in the museum is totally inadequate.
The castle is also of special interest to visitors from the US as it was there that some of the American privateers were interned during the War of Independence, but were helped by the Quakers resulting in a resolution of the US Congress!