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Government not providing expected funding for Bunratty

SHANNON Group will not be receiving a €2.6 million package to keep Bunratty and King John’s Castle open until the end of the year, instead they are likely to receive around one fifth of the sume sought.

In a statement on Thursday, it said, ““Shannon Group is still awaiting final details of the Government funding being provided but we understand it will cover the incremental operational losses of keeping Bunratty Castle & Folk Park and King John’s Castle open from September 1 to Dec 31st 2020.”

SIPTU Organiser, Rachel Keane, said: “At a meeting with the management of Shannon Heritage our members were stunned by the news that the promise by the Government to provide €2.6 million to ensure that these iconic Shannon Heritage sites would remain open until the end of the year will not be honoured.

“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating for sites run by Shannon Heritage. However, SIPTU members ensured that these sites were maintained and developed in order to offer an attractive experience for visitors from within Ireland. Our members welcomed the announcement in August that the Government intended to provide €2.6 million in funding to keep the sites managed by Shannon Heritage open until the end of December. Today, it was revealed that the funding that will be provided falls far short of that outlined in the initial announcement.”

Councillor Donna McGettigan said the news is very disappointing for workers. ““I have taken a number of calls this morning from very distressed workers in the sites, who are again extremely concerned with this news.

“They were given reassurances at the end of August that their jobs would be safe until January and until the review into the Shannon Group has been finished by the Minister.

“But this news this morning has come as a shock to many and we need answers on what exactly this will mean for the sites and the workers and their families.”

Owen Ryan

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.