The Observatory has continued to encourage visits to the Armagh Observatory Grounds and Astropark. During 2004 such visits have included school groups from as far afield as Dublin, as well as groups of retired people, unemployed people and members of history, philosophical and astronomical societies. In addition, the Observatory opened its doors to the general public on a number of occasions, including events surrounding the Astronomical Science Group of Ireland and Institute of Physics in Ireland conference in April 2004, the Transit of Venus on 8 June 2004, the UK and Ireland ``Routes to Roots'' exhibition, and the Heritage Lottery Fund 10th Anniversary celebrations.
A selection from the list of Group visits to the Observatory during 2004 is provided in Table 6. In addition, 677 people signed the Visitors Book, suggesting that approximately 1,000 people were accompanied on tours of the Observatory by staff and students during 2004. It is noteworthy that visitors to the Observatory originated from more than a dozen separate countries.
The number of visitors using the Armagh Observatory Astropark has continued to be recorded during 2004. Nine months data for this period (owing to intermittent instrumental failure) indicated approximately 16,000 visitors to the Astropark. This undoubtedly includes many repeat visits by regular users of the facility, but the corresponding annual figure (more than 20,000) again demonstrates the importance of the Armagh Astropark for people of all ages and from all sections of the community, including local residents and general visitors.