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Harris welcomes Irish Sign Language Tours at OPW Heritage Sites

Irish December 16, 2014, 13:00

Simon Harris TD, Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) is delighted to announce that the OPW, working in conjunction with the Centre for Deaf Studies, at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) will offer a programme of Irish Sign Language interpreted tours at a number of OPW heritage sites in January and February 2015.

The programme will commence in Dublin Castle on Sunday 18 January with free signed tours of the Castle available to members of the deaf and hard of hearing community. The initiative will continue in Farmleigh House on Saturday 31 January and Sunday 1 February, with more sites planned for later in the Spring.

Announcing the project, the Minister said, "I am delighted to extend this invitation to members of the Deaf Community and I wish to thank the Centre for Deaf Studies in TCD for partnering with us on the initiative. The OPW has many wonderful heritage sites where guided services, including informative tours, are provided. Regrettably, the Deaf Community can often be somewhat restricted when accessing heritage sites. The placement of fourth year interpretation students at OPW visitor sites is beneficial for all parties concerned. The students are gaining valuable work experience, the appreciation of OPW heritage sites is now reaching a wider audience and, most importantly of all, the Deaf Community are being provided with an interpretation service at some of Ireland's iconic heritage sites."

The Minister further stated "I would like to invite members of the Deaf Community to participate with all concerned in this marvellous programme and I wish to sincerely thank the Centre for Deaf Studies for participating with us on the scheme. Trinity College Dublin has long been associated with the development of high calibre programmes in Deaf Studies, delivered by the Centre for Deaf Studies and it is an honour for the OPW to work with the Centre. I am sure that this project will provide members of the Deaf Community with a wonderful opportunity to more fully participate in the visitor experience at the sites within our care, giving them the opportunity to learn more of the intriguing history of these fabulous sites."

For further information or if you wish to interview Minister of State Harris please contact Colette Davis (OPW Press Officer) - 087 947 5552 or email

Notes to Editors:

The Office of Public Works is collaborating with the Centre for Deaf Studies in Trinity College Dublin and 4th year students will be at the following OPW Heritage sites.

Dublin Castle: 18 January 2015

Farmleigh: 31 January & 1 February 2015

Further sites will be identified and publicised on the following:, and @opwireland

Bookings can be made by emailing








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