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Killeavy Castle Estate plants seeds for growth and sustainability with £500,000 investment

- Posted on: 10/06/2022 - $itemValue.title

Pictured left to right: Jason Foody (General Manager), Mick and Robin Boyle (Owners), Darragh Dooley (Executive Head Chef)

Officially unveiled by the owners of Killeavy Castle Estate, Sydney-based businessman Mick Boyle and his wife Robin, Killeavy Castle Estate has just launched an Estate Farm Store and Estate Gardens following a further £500,000 investment.

Originally from South Armagh, Mick Boyle and Robin acquired Killeavy Castle in 2013, and over the past nine years have restored the 186-year Killeavy Castle, creating a venue that’s now regarded as one of the premier destination hotels in Ireland. 

In the past 12 months, the team at Killeavy Castle Estate, headed up by General Manager, Jason Foody, and Executive Chef, Darragh Dooley, have developed the Gardens and Farm Store to further enhance the Estate’s ‘farm to fork' ethos and guest experience. The project was partially supported by Tourism Northern Ireland. 

“Since 2013, Robin and I, with the support and dedication of our wonderful team, have lovingly restored Killeavy Castle Estate into the majestic venue it is today. The opening of our Estate Gardens and Farm Store are important milestones in our journey to sustainability and furthering the Estate’s ‘farm to fork’ ethos and guest experience,” comments Mick Boyle, owner of Killeavy Castle Estate.

Featuring an Estate Garden that mirrors the landscape of the existing heritage Walled Garden, the additional one-acre Estate Garden doubles the volume of fresh produce that Killeavy Castle Estate can now grow onsite.

The Farm Store has been purpose-built to facilitate the processing of the Estate’s beef and lamb, including specialised ageing techniques, curing and smoking of the meats. Additional space within the Farm Store will be utilised for preparing fruit and vegetables from the gardens for kitchens throughout the Estate. Viewing windows allow guests to watch this preparation take place.

In addition, the Bistro Bar has been extended, tripling its kitchen area and facilities to increase capacity to provide more of our farm-to-fork meals for both residential and local guests. The Walled Garden café has also reopened serving refreshments and sweet treats Friday through Sunday from 10:00am.

Killeavy Castle Estate owner, Mick Boyle, continues: “Killeavy Castle Estate comprises of 356 acres of mixed farm and woodland on the slopes of Slieve Gullion in beautiful South Armagh. Developing a world-class destination venue takes continuous investment and innovation. With 150 acres of our grounds dedicated to the rearing of Longhorn Cattle and Cheviot Sheep, our new farm store and estate garden will play a significant role in increasing the self-sufficiency of the Estate and our capacity to provide the highest-quality local produce to our guests. By viewing the vegetable and meat processing within the store, guests will gain the full farm-to-fork experience.”

Under the expertise of Executive Chef, Darragh Dooley, Killeavy Castle Estate has grown its reputation for the quality of its food offering and over 90% of the food served throughout the Estate is produced within the grounds of Killeavy Castle Estate or sourced within a 20-mile radius.

Carole Long, Investment Programmes Manager at Tourism NI said “We are delighted to support the exciting new developments at Killeavy Castle Estate. The evolution of new tourism experiences like this shows that innovation continues to be at the forefront of the development of the industry here. The Estate Farm Store and Estate Gardens will be central to the visitor experience in County Armagh, and will play a key part in the recovery and innovative regrowth of our industry.” 

The Estate is proud to have created a destination venue where tourists and local people can visit, enjoy superb dining, access beautiful mountain walks and connect with the natural surroundings.

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