History of the Park

"I want especially to have the young people come to Muckross to trail those mountains and to enjoy nature in all its aspects. I hope that Muckross will be made a real garden of friendship…"
Arthur Vincent, 1876-1956, Senator and Donor of the Bourn Vincent Memorial Park.

The nucleus of the National Park is the 10,700 acre (4,300 hectare) Bourn Vincent Memorial Park, formerly known as the Muckross Estate. This was presented to the State in 1932 by Senator Arthur Vincent and his parents-in-law Mr. and Mrs. William Bowers Bourn, in memory of Senator Vincent's late wife Maud.

The care of the Park was entrusted to the Commissioners of Public Works who were required to "maintain and manage the Park as a national park for the general purpose of the recreation and enjoyment of the public". When the Bourn Vincent Memorial Park Act was passed into law in late 1932, the National Park was born.

In the early years of the National Park there was very little financial assistance available from the State, and in order to avoid burdening the State, the Park was operated primarily as a working farm which was open to the public. In more recent times however, the perception of what a National Park should represent has changed, and a developing economy has meant that more financial support has become available. Since the early 1970's the National Park has been substantially expanded with the acquisition of further lands from the former Kenmare Estate, (including the three Lakes, Knockreer House and demesne, and many mountainous areas), and today's National Park has joint objectives of conservation and recreation. Ecosystems in their natural state are highly valued.

Dúchas, The Heritage Service is the body responsible for the management and administration of Ireland's National Parks today.



Killarney National Park
Introduction ~ Photo Gallery ~ What's Happening? ~ History ~ Noteworthy Species ~ Bird life ~ Red Deer ~ Lakes ~ Muckross House ~ Oakwoods ~ Yew Wood ~ Park Rangers ~ Rhododendron ~ Cultural Heritage ~ Visiting the Park ~ Killarney Town

Killarney National Park Education Centre
Introduction ~ Recent Visits ~ Staff ~ Primary Schools ~ Post-primary Schools ~ Third Level Groups ~ Tour Groups ~ Youth Groups ~ Accommodation ~ Cappanalea

Other Irish National Parks
Burren ~ Connemara ~ Glenveagh ~ Mayo ~ Wicklow Mountains