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Tag Archives: Bunratty castle and Folk Park

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 …

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Call for Council to Take Over Craggaunowen Vistor Centre

ONE of the pioneers of tourism in Clare would be “turning in his grave” at the decision to curtail access to Shannon Heritage facilities, a local authority member has said. Councillor Pat Hayes has slammed the decision to keep Knappogue Castle and Craggaunowen closed until further notice, in response to the pandemic, and to limit the season for Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. He said the situation flew in the face of the legacy of Dr Brendan O’Regan, who was instrumental in developing the amenities. “Given how important domestic tourism will be this year, and the fact that people are looking for facilities close to home, the decision is very disappointing,” he said. “As well as their importance to tourism in the midwest, these are vital facilities in terms of Irish history and heritage. Dr Brendan O’Regan would be turning in his grave over this.” The Fianna Fáil member there is now a strong case for a local authority take-over …

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Red deer to roam Bunratty once more

Red deer, once synonymous with Bunratty, can once again be seen roaming the grounds of the folk park. Shannon Heritage introduced two females, currently in calf and due to give birth in May, to the park this week. A young stag will also be arriving shortly at Bunratty. Speaking about the arrival of the red deer, Niall O’Callaghan, Managing Director, Shannon Heritage said: “Red deer have been synonymous with Bunratty Folk Park for over thirty years. They have been a hugely popular attraction as people enjoy seeing such majestic animals at close quarters. They are also seen as a real symbolic animal of Ireland by overseas visitors in particular. “Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is a living, working visitor attraction. We are really excited to have red deer back here at our site. With over 26 acres, our deer will have plenty of room to make themselves at home. The close ties between Shannon Heritage and our animals is evident …

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The Cliffs still popular with the tourists

The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience in Liscannor was the country’s second most popular destination with tourists as nearly 1.1million people visited the North Clare attraction last year. Figures released by Fáilte Ireland show that the Cliffs of Moher centre was second only to Guinness Storehouse in Dublin which pulled in 1,269,371 visitors.  The Liscannor attraction leapfrogged Dublin Zoo as the country’s second most popular destination. Bunratty Castle is the country’s 11th most popular paid tourist attraction with 295,000 people passing through its gates  while Ailwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre in Ballyvaughan visited by 120,000 paying customers. Minister of State for Transport, Tourism & Sport Michael Ring acknowledge, “Our great variety of attractions, whether free or fee-paying, is an important part of our allure to visitors and add to the positive experience enjoyed by tourists here. Over the last few years, this Government has invested significantly in new and existing attractions and is committed to ensuring our attractions …

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11% boost in Shannon Heritage visitor numbers

Shannon Heritage has announced that an 11% increase in visitor numbers was recorded in 2014, offering further evidence of a resurgence in local tourism and indeed in the domestic economy. Shannon Heritage employs more than 300 people during peak season and it operates seven daytime visitor attractions, including Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, Craggaunowen, Knappogue Castle and Walled Garden, Dunguaire Castle, the Brian Boru Heritage and Malahide Castle and Gardens. It also has another four evening attractions, with medieval banquets at Bunratty, Knappogue and Dunguaire Castle, as well as a traditional Irish night at Bunratty Folk Park. Overall, they drew 637,000 visitors last year, with the day attractions up by more than 13%, while there are said to have been particular gains from Britain, America and Europe. Indeed, last year was the company’s most successful in terms of visitor numbers since 2007. The single biggest success among the Shannon Heritage operations last year was at King John’s Castle in Limerick, …

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