Children under the age of 12 are to be given free admission to all heritage sites managed by the Office of Public Works Heritage Service from Saturday.

The Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW said it will provide "a huge opportunity to encourage our children to experience some of the best cultural and heritage sites in the country.

"We have some wonderful places to visit like Clonmacnoise, Kilkenny Castle, Newgrange and the Rock of Cashel and I want every child to have an opportunity to visit them with their families during the summer holidays and up to the end of the year," Kevin Boxer Moran added.

Children under six had already gotten free entry to OPW heritage sites, while the OPW also offers free access to schoolchildren under their Free Schools Visits scheme.

The change will apply to all heritage sites from Saturday 1 July.