Published Wednesday, 24 October 2012
Politicians attended the opening on Wednesday. (© Cultural Management Services.)
Ranfurly House is an arts and visitor centre which tells the Co Tyrone town's story through the famous O'Neill Dynasty, the Flight of the Earls and the subsequent Plantation of Ulster.
It is situated on the site of the old Belfast bank and features hands-on exhibits, arts studios and a 98-seater theatre, with plans to host educational visits for schools and other groups.
"This is perhaps one of the most important sites in Ireland," Paul Mullan, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund, told UTV.
"Being the site of the O'Neills and of so much history over the years it has been closed from people's access for over 400 years but today we are opening it to the public."
It is hoped the new centre will also give a boost to local tourism.
First Minister Peter Robinson said: "It adds to the overall tourist product of Northern Ireland and people who are interested in their heritage and background will come here."
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: "It's a hugely important development not just for Dungannon but for the whole of Co Tyrone and indeed the whole of Ireland."
The development has also seen the historic Castle Hill Park renamed Hill Of The O'Neill.
It features an outdoor space including walkways and gardens and, from the top of the hill, a view across a number of the surrounding Ulster counties.
© UTV News