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Bunratty Castle

Crunch time in talks to save Shannon Heritage sites

Clare Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe is in talks with ministerial colleagues ahead of an expected decision on the immediate future of the Shannon Heritage sites.

As things stand, sites including Bunratty Castle and King John’s Castle are due to close at the end of the month while the likes of Craggaunowen and Knappogue Castles have remained closed since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

I’ve spent quite a considerable amount of time this week chatting to my colleagues, including ministers with a decision-making capacity on Shannon Heritage,” said Deputy Crowe.

Minister Michael McGrath has confirmed to me that the file has reached his department and it is now being examined, with a decision due in the coming days.

I have reiterated the importance of these sites to Clare to the Minister, particularly given the year we have been facing.

This morning, I held an impromptu meeting with Shannon Heritage workers following a separate meeting I was at in Bunratty, and they have outlined all of their concerns to me.

The ask is €3.9 million to keep these sites open but my understanding now is that this figure has now fallen back a bit given the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme is now running until Spring 2021, along with the continued suspension of commercial rates and the new €26m grant opening today to assist tourism businesses in their reopening.

I hope to see a positive announcement coming down the tracks on Shannon Heritage and I will continue to engage with the relevant parties until that moment arrives.”


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