20 May 2005

BBC

Cash boost for Boyne battle site


A museum is to be built at the Boyne battle site

The Irish government has announced that a further 15m euro is to be spent developing tourist facilities at Ireland's most famous battle site.

The money will be used to fund a museum and an interpretive centre on the theme of the Williamite revolution at the site of the Battle of the Boyne.

The Irish government announced the development plans on Thursday.

Historian Sean Collins said he hoped the Boyne Project would give the site the recognition it deserved.

Traditions

The Battle of the Boyne was fought between William of Orange and Catholic King James II at the site outside Drogheda, County Meath, in 1690.

Every year the Protestant Orange Order celebrate William's victory on 12 July.

The Irish government has already spent 15m euro on purchasing and repairing the site.

Mr Collins said the site was of extreme historical importance to both unionist and nationalist traditions on the island of Ireland.

"I suppose in many ways the Boyne can be seen as the Ganges to every good Orangeman or brethren," he said.

"It is a very historical site, indeed it was the key battle in which traditions in Ireland are based on both sides."

Orange Order members from the Shankill area in Belfast attended the project's official launch, which was carried out by Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern.


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