The Kerry Education and Training Board has opened its new Further Education and Training Centre in an historic Dingle house, with links to Marie Antoinette.
Rice House – the 18th century home of a prominent merchant family – was central to a failed plot to house Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution.
Ionad Breis-Oideachas agus Oiliúna an Daingin will now offer an extensive programme of courses to prospective learners throughout the Dingle Peninsula.
Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin officially opened the centre yesterday with Tralee Cllr Jim Finucane, Centre Manager Eithne Boland and Kerry ETB representatives.
Some programmes are already up and running including courses in computing, personal development, English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) and Irish for parents.
A variety of courses are due to begin next month such as healthcare, office skills, photography, marketing for social media, stained glass and mosaic art, interior design, creative writing and horticulture.
Kerry ETB has worked with Údarás na Gaeltachta, the Dingle Cookery School, Fáiltre Ireland, Kerry County Council and other bodies in delivering courses in Dingle.
Director of FET Owen O’Donnell said the absence of a permanent base for the ETB in West Kerry was an need they had been trying to address for a number of years.
He said the opening of Ionad Breisoideachas agus Oiliúna in Rice House is a positive development and they look forward to its progression and growth in the years to come.