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Hopes high for joint promotion of Armagh and Crumlin Road Gaols

Armagh City and District Council is hoping to jointly promote Armagh Gaol and Crumlin Road Gaol to visitors on the same ticket, Armagh I can reveal.

Contact has been made with the Belfast Tours Company with the aim of driving it forward.

Last month it was reported that the future development of a £25 million hotel at the Gaol could be in jeopardy due to differences of opinion over who should contribute what level of funding to the plans.

In the meantime, the Gaol, which closed in the 1980s, has been opened up as a tourist attraction with guided tours.

The first took place on Friday past, August 1, and the plan is that these will be run every Friday and Saturday.

If this proves successful, Thursdays will also be added up until Hallowe’en.

Five guided tours, which take around 45 to 50 minutes, will take place each day at 10.30am, 12 midday, 2pm, 3.15pm and 4.30pm.

Booking is required and can be made by checking out or by phoning 028 9035 7527.

As part of its plans to investigate a joint tour with Crumlin Road, it has been suggested that city walking tours of Armagh and guided tours of the Palace Demesne could also be included.

Three council owned facilities – the Market Place Theatre, Navan Centre and Loughgall Country Park – have recently won awards and it is felt that the tours would provide an opportunity to promote council facilities and increase the profile of the city.

During the course of recent discussion on the matter at the council’s executive committee, UUP Councillor Sylvia McRoberts remarked that it was important to include a transport element.

It was pointed out that a 30 seater ‘mini coach’ would be used which would allow people to ‘hop on hop off’.

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