Ireland’s longest over-water zipline was launched on Monday by Kilkenny hurling manager Brian Cody at Castlecomer Discovery Park.
This marks the opening a new tourist attraction to the south-east and Ireland’s Ancient East experience. A thrilling outdoor activity, the zipline is 300 metres long, 35 metres over ground at its highest point and is accompanied by two new high-ropes courses called the Octagonal High Ropes Challenge.
Castlecomer Discovery Park has invested €370,000 developing the new Zip Line and High Ropes Challenge creating 15 new jobs at the park – 13 seasonal positions, a full time Outdoor Activity Manager and a part time Health and Safety Officer. The park has seen employment grow from a team of six outdoor activity instructors in 2012 to 33 this season with plans in place to create more jobs and leisure activities over the next five years, boosting tourism to Castlecomer.
“Kilkenny has long had a fantastic reputation for sport and we hope to add to the variety of outdoor attractions by opening Ireland’s longest over-water Zip Line and new High Ropes Challenge,” said Liz Nolan, Manager of Castlecomer Discovery Park.
“These activities have been three years in development and it’s a proud day for the whole team at Castlecomer Discovery Park to have our own Brian Cody here to officially open them. We already have lots of group bookings in, including some well-known hurlers, and look forward to an exciting summer.”
Sedentary lifestyles are on the increase among adults and children and this is something Castlecomer Discovery Park is keen to address, providing a range of new and exciting outdoor activities for small children, teens, adults, groups and families.
Visitor numbers to the park have increased dramatically over the past five years with a record 117,000 visiting last year. A 20 per cent increase in visitor numbers is expected this year with the launch of the Zip Line and Octagonal High Ropes Challenge. The new activities are open to people over 12 years of age and are particularly suited to groups and for team-building exercises.
Capital funding for the Zip Line and Octagonal High Ropes Challenge was sourced from the Dormant Accounts Fund under the Social Enterprise Measure, the Rural Economic Development Zone, Kilkenny County Council and Castlecomer Discovery Park’s own funds.
Set in an 80 acre natural woodland, Castlecomer Discovery Park hosts an exciting range of recreational and educational activities. Opened in 2007, the park already features scenic walking trails, boating, fishing, high-ropes adventure activities, a multi-media coal mining museum, orienteering trails, schools education programme, design craft workshops, Elf and Fairy village and an award-winning café. Castlecomer Discovery Park is now a member of the European Ropes Course Association.