Kilkenny Castle Rose Garden
Kilkenny Cocooners, who are emerging for exercise in the city, are to be allowed exclusive use of the Rose Garden at Kilkenny Castle.
The special hours for cocooners are between 10am and 1pm, daily.
The arrangements were announced by the OPW today, Friday, as they announced a gradual reopening of some OPW heritage sites across the country.
Kilkenny Castle grounds have remained open during the lockdown, but now people are asked to allow the Rose Garden space for the exclusive use of cocooning citizens for the allotted hours.
The OPW has made arrangements at certain sites to reserve certain spaces and times exclusively for Cocooners. This group has, by virtue of the restrictions on their movement, been particularly and significantly affected in the last several weeks and the OPW is creating a safe space and time for this particular group of people to enjoy these sites in the open air.
OPW is asking all other users who visit our sites to respect these provisions so that the safety of these individuals can be protected as far as possible.
The OPW has also announced a gradual reopening strategy for tourism heritage sites. Some sites will reopen from Monday, May 18.
A key part of the approach is to ensure that sites can only reopen where it is possible to do so in accordance with public health guidance and, in particular, with the Return to Work Safely Protocol published by Government.
From Monday, a number of parkland locations and other sites with open spaces will begin to reopen to the public in accordance with the public health guidelines.
Social distancing will apply and visitors will be strongly encouraged to observe all the regulations set out in respect of ensuring that when they use these facilities, they remain in small groups and within their own households.
Visitors are also reminded of the 5km distance limit and OPW have confirmed that public carparks at larger sites in particular will not be available; these will only reopen later in the phased approach in line with the Government Roadmap.
The OPW has worked with An Garda Síochána in planning surrounding traffic movements in particular and has agreed that the position in relation to traffic volumes coming to sites will be monitored. If, in the view of An Garda Síochána or the OPW, the traffic volume indicates that the 5km limit is being ignored, or if there are significant congestion issues arising, a decision may be taken to reclose certain facilities on public health grounds.