Published on 

Mr. Simon Coveney, Minister for Defence and Foreign Affairs announces the commencement of the final round of public consultation on the future management of the Curragh Plains

Mr. Simon Coveney T.D., 30 September 2022, welcomed the commencement of a further round of public consultation in relation to the Curragh Plains consultancy project.


The Minister stated, “The Department of Defence together with Kildare County Council embarked on a unique collaboration aimed at finding a way forward in addressing the many challenges involved in managing and developing the Plains.  The key objectives of the Study are to implement best practice for the future management and development of the Curragh Plains.”


This final round of public consultation will comprise of a further survey, a webinar and a public drop in event. Details of the pubic consultations will be announced shortly on the Curragh Plains website.


The Minister for Defence and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D., as the custodian and guardian of the Curragh Plains also welcomed this opportunity for the public to have their say on the future plans for the Curragh Plains. The first public consultation received over 3,600 responses demonstrating the strength of public feelings about the Curragh Plains.  Details of the first survey and the final round of public consultations can be found at


Minister Coveney, in conclusion, took the opportunity to “thank everyone who has participated to date and I would strongly encourage further participation in the next round of discussions, as your input will help shape the future for this unique landscape” 





Note for Editor


The Department of Defence together with Kildare County Council in recognition of the many challenges facing the Plains as well as the management associated with it jointly commissioned a Consultancy Study in June 2020 to explore how best the Plains could be managed, utilised and protected in today’s setting. 


Kildare County Council procured a multi-disciplinary team of consultants.  The cost of the Study is €148,600 and is jointly funded by the Department of Defence and Kildare County Council. 


The Curragh Plains comprises of some 4,870 acres of semi-natural grassland and heath on a substratum of till which have existed uncultivated and unenclosed for at least 2,000 years.  It is also a working environment for the Defence Forces, the bloodstock industry and sheep owners.



Scope of the Project


The project is categorised under the following three headings:


Conservation Management and Interpretation Plan


  • This will involve ecologist, archaeologist, landscape architects, KCC heritage officer and other specialists assessing significance and identifying proposals and measures for its enhancement. 


Branding and Positioning Process


  • The study aims to take the multiple identities e.g. Kildare Village, Japanese Gardens and National Stud, Curragh Races, Curragh Military Museum and shape them into one coherent brand by involving tourism consultants and creative agency to develop branding.
  • The brand will be used to promote the Curragh as a national tourism destination with a view to increasing visitor numbers and related economic benefits to the area.


Orientation, Wayfinding and Interpretation Strategy


This aspect of the project, involving landscape architects, graphic designers and KCC heritage officer intends to shape the physical and digital experience of the Curragh, including gateway artworks signage and mapping.