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Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is just one of the Shannon Heritage sites that require major investment.

Bunratty staff to be retained in January, despite partial closure

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BUNRATTY Castle and Folk Park will be closed to the public four days a week, from mid January to early March.

Despite the closure, all of the staff will be retained on their current terms.

Speaking to the Clare Champion this week, one worker said, “The Group made an announcement to us recently. The doors will be closing Monday to Wednesday inclusive, but all staff are being retained and fully paid, we’ll just be closed to the public on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The staff will probably be doing other work in their own area, preparatory work, something like that.”

In recent years the attraction had closed completely in the early part of the year, so the worker said the announcement is good news.

“Of course people are happy to be retained but it is confusing as to why we are closing for the three days. We can’t see where the saving is, it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to be paying people to do other work behind the scenes. It is confusing, but it is great that we are not being let go.”

The worker said that staff are still anxious to see a resolution to the ongoing question of whether the Shannon Heritage attractions are to be transferred to Clare County Council.

“It’s just going on and on and on. Nobody has a date, everyone is hopeful that it’ll be done by the end of the year. Even if it wasn’t at the end of the year, it’d be great to have a date. If we had certainty around the process it’d be great, because there’s that question mark, will it go ahead. There’s still that uneasiness.”

Last week saw Clare TD Michael McNamara write to the Taoiseach urging him to make sure the process concludes before he finishes his term in office on December 17.

“Following my previous correspondence to you on 6 th October 2022 relating to the proposed transfer of Shannon Heritage sites to Clare County Council, I am once again asking your government to appoint a high-level person to bring decision makers in all relevant agencies and national and local government bodies together to thrash out a deal.”

He added, “I await confirmation that the transfer will be confirmed during your tenure as Taoiseach in order to facilitate planning for 2023 and beyond.”

Owen Ryan
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Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.