Gardens draw half a million visitors
The National Botanical Gardens was the most popular state-owned heritage site last year, attracting more than 540,000 visitors and generating revenue of almost €120,000, according to provisional data released by the Office of Public Works (OPW).
However, the figures represent a marginal decrease of around 8,000 in the number of people who visited the Glasnevin attraction since 2013.
Farmleigh Estate in Castleknock was the second-most popular heritage site in 2014 with 402,773 visitors, although its numbers were also down by almost 8pc compared to the previous year.
The number of visitors to Kilmainham Gaol increased slightly to 328,886 last year, making the former prison the third-most popular heritage site as well as the most profitable, generating income of €1,273,549 for the public purse.
The details of state-owned visitor attractions were provided by Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW Simon Harris in response to a parliamentary question by Galway West TD Brian Walsh.
The figures are currently provisional pending full audit and verification.