The Irish Government has opened a state-of-the-art visitor experience at the Céide Fields in County Mayo along the Wild Atlantic Way.
The immersive center is expected to attract an additional 7,500 visitors to the famous Stone Age monument over the next five years.
Patrick O'Donovan, the Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, opened the new €2.6 million center on June 9.
The center will generate 152 additional jobs in the region, while also generating almost €1 million for the local economy over a five-year period.
The enhanced experience at the center includes improved interpretation telling the archaeological story of the Céide Fields and their discovery.
The Céide Fields are a unique and extensive Neolithic archaeological site celebrated around the world for the complex and extensive remains of ancient field systems and habitations. The fields are described as the most extensive Stone Age monument in the world.
The new center also includes a state-of-the-art audio-visual experience that will teach visitors about the rich heritage of the region.
In a statement, O'Donovan said the new center will allow visits to understand and cherish Irish heritage and culture.
"There is undoubtedly a certain magic to Céide Fields and it humbles the mind to enter what local archaeologists uncovered is the most extensive Stone Age monument in the world," O'Donovan said in a statement.
"Our knowledge of this site has been so enriched since this award-winning Visitor Centre first opened in 1993 and the new exhibition together with the guided tour will allow us to share this new research with visitors so they can engage more deeply with our heritage, understand it better and cherish it more."
Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin also welcomed the opening of the new visitor experience, adding that it would enable both Irish and international visitors to immerse themselves in the history of the Céide Fields.
"The Céide Fields is an extremely significant historical site, in Ireland and across the world. The new visitor experience will enable visitors from home and abroad to immerse themselves in the fascinating heritage of the Céide Fields and encourage more people to visit be."
Minister @podonovan today launched the new state-of-the-art visitor centre at the Céide Fields, Co. Mayo. The joint investment with @Failte_Ireland & @DeptHousingIRL has created a new immersive experience at the visitor centre, a must visit destination along the #WildAtlanticWay pic.twitter.com/RycMo86tyg— Office of Public Works (@opwireland) June 9, 2022