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Bunratty Castle has been named as Ireland’s favourite castle in a survey carried out by Empathy Research.

Just over one in six people (17%) voted for the 15th Century Bunratty Castle, with its famous Folk Park, pipping another famous tourist attraction, the 800 year old Kilkenny Castle, into second place with just over one in seven giving it their first preference (15%) according to the national poll of over 1,000 people carried out for online lottery company Lottoland.

Internationally famed, Bunratty Castle topped the pile in the survey carried out to celebrate Halloween. Dublin, Blarney and Ashford completed the top five of castles.

Well known concert venue of Slane Castle in Co Meath finished down the list of popularity with just 7% of the vote but it did get its biggest preference vote from the millennial 18-34 year age group. Lord Henry Mountcharles’ famous castle and concert venue still came in ahead of other famous battlements such as Trim Castle in Co Meath, Ross Castle in Killarney, Birr Castle in Co Offaly and Cahir Castle in Co Tipperary, the last of which hasn’t received the bounce in popularity yet from Matt Damon’s latest film, The Last Duel, which was filmed there recently.

A second castle in the county just missed out on the top ten. Dromoland Castle also located in the parish of Newmarket-on-Fergus received three percent of the vote.

In an unsurprising twist, voting for Ireland’s favourite castles turned out to be very parochial around the regions, with Dubliners giving Dublin Castle (23%) and Malahide Castle (18%) their biggest number one votes, whilst Blarney Castle got its biggest first preference from Munster voters (23%). Co Mayo’s Ashford Castle got its biggest vote by far from the Connacht-Ulster folk (23%) but they bucked the trend in regional voting by giving Bunratty Castle their biggest first preference votes of any region (28%).

Research was conducted through an online survey across a nationally representative sample of over a thousand adults aged over eighteen. Quotas were placed on gender, age, social class and region with weighting applied to ensure final data was representative of these quotas. Research was conducted amongst members of Empathy Research’s proprietary research panel.

Graham Ross from Lottoland Ireland said of the findings, “it seems old school is best with the Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, that most traditional south west holiday destination, coming out top of the pops for the Irish public”.

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