Media statement – OPW funding announcement for capital projects at Fota Wildlife Park and Dublin Zoo

Media Statement

Fota Wildlife Park welcomes the announcement from Minister of State for the Office of Public Works, Patrick O’Donovan TD, of €3 million in Government funding for Fota Wildlife Park and Dublin Zoo.
The allocation of €1 million to Fota Wildlife Park will allow the re-commencement of some essential capital projects.

(Government Press release here.)

Commenting on the announcement, Sean McKeown, Director of Fota Wildlife Park said:
“I would like to thank Minister O’Donovan and the OPW for making this funding available to Fota Wildlife Park and Dublin Zoo. This financial support will allow Fota Wildlife Park to re-commence essential work on capital projects such as flood defences, a refortification of the sea wall and construction of state-of-the-art habitats for our animals.

“Fota Wildlife Park is very grateful to the Irish Government, the Office of Public Works and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for the financial support of €1 million to ensure the completion of these capital projects. We would also like to thank the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, and our local TDs and other political representatives who have been unwavering in their support. We must also say a huge thank you to the public, our visitors and annual pass holders, schools and colleges and businesses for the phenomenal support shown during these uniquely challenging times.

“Fota Wildlife Park which is a conservation charity, experienced a 20% drop in visitor numbers and income in 2020 due to Covid-19 and we are still faced with the cost of the feeding and maintaining the highest welfare standards for the 124 species of animals that live here. Regardless of visitor numbers, the animals continue to get the same level of care and welfare they receive year-round.

“As we enter 2021, we are facing the real prospect of higher levels of Covid restrictions and a further loss of income, but we now do so from a stronger base with the assistance of Government and the people of Ireland.”