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Tag Archives: Bunratty Castle

Near 50% growth predicted in Bunratty visitors

VISITOR numbers at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park should go up by almost 50% within a five year period, following a major redevelopment. A document included in a planning permission application, which has been sent to Clare County Council says, “The primary goal of the proposed development is to achieve an increase in visitor numbers by investing in new products and experiences that will broaden the market appeal of the Castle and Folk Park and attract greater number of repeat visits. Specifically the aim is to increase the total visitor numbers from almost 410,000 per annum (October 2017-October 2018) to a total of over 610,000 per annum over a five year period. It is anticipated that by providing an enhanced offer throughout the Folk Park, there will be an increase in repeat visits during the low season, specifically amongst local families.” Should visitor numbers increase by such a huge amount, it would be a great boost to what is one …

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Second wind for Shannon Shamrock?

THIS week has seen calls for Shannon Group to purchase the long-closed Shannon Shamrock hotel and to develop a historic theme park, boosting Clare tourism. The hotel has been for sale for some time and it is understood that a bid in the region of €1.5 million has been made on it. Savills, the company working on the sale, are hoping to achieve a price of closer to €1.8m. At the moment, various rumours are swirling about the potential future of the property. Speaking to The Clare Champion on Wednesday, Niall O’Callaghan, managing director of Shannon Heritage, would not be drawn on whether purchasing the hotel is being considered. However, Mr O’Callaghan said that there are plans for major development in the Bunratty area. “We’re working on a masterplan at the moment in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland that we hope will come to fruition in the next 12 to 18 months. It’s part of the Fáilte Ireland Capital Grants Scheme …

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Santa’s elves in tip-top shape after Bunratty boot-camp

All is at the ready at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park for the biggest Santa experience ever in the Mid-West after the great man’s team of Elves have successfully been put through their paces with a special Elf Bootcamp. New recruits to the Elf team were on their toes throughout last weekend’s boot-camp to make sure they are ready to start welcoming over 23,000 people who will come through the doors once they open for this’s special experience on Saturday. ‘The Santa Experience at Bunratty’ has become a Christmas staple for young people from across the country but wouldn’t be possible for Santa to put on without the help of his very special helpers. Among the tasks set for them for last weekend’s boot-camp were how many of Mrs Claus’ mince pies they could hand out in a single minute; could they fit through the special Elf hatch; could they bear the warmer climate here; how good were they at …

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Italians view Wild Atlantic Way

An Italian TV crew has been filming along the Wild Atlantic Way for an episode of Geo & Geo, a popular magazine show that airs on one of Italy’s national TV stations, Rai 3. The TV crew’s visit was supported by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland and their filiming will be broadcast next December, showcasing the spectacular scenery of the Wild Atlantic Way to more than one million viewers across Italy. Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s manager Italy, said, “We were delighted that the Geo & Geo TV crew decided to film along the Wild Atlantic Way. With about 1 million viewers per episode, it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase the Clare to a huge Italian audience – helping to inspire them to come and explore the landscapes and locations which will feature in the show for themselves.” In 2015, we welcomed about 321,400 Italian visitors to Ireland, up +25% on 2014.  

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Nugent Case goes to UN committee

A SIXMILEBRIDGE family has not ruled out the possibility of requesting the European Court of Human Rights to initiate an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a 23-year-old banqueting manager in Bunratty in 1984. The family of the late Patrick Nugent, Feenagh, Sixmilebridge, has welcomed the inclusion of his case as part of a dossier that has been sent to Nigel Rodley, chairman of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) in Geneva. This latest development comes as members of the Justice4all lobby group, accompanied by independent deputies Clare Daly and Mick Wallace, meet the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) to discuss the Nugent and other similar cases this Thursday. The group will inform the IHREC that the recent independent review committee, established by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, was not fit for purpose, as it did not provide an effective remedy for victims. A spokesperson for the Nugent family told The Clare Champion that John …

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From the Middle East to Clare

Tourism Ireland invited a group of tour operators from the Middle East to visit Clare, in advance of attending a B2B workshop with Irish tourism companies in Dublin. The visit was organised to encourage the visiting tour operators to extend the Ireland content of their existing programmes or to include the island of Ireland for the first time in their 2015 programmes. Their itinerary included a guided tour of business and tourism attractions in North Clare, as well as Bunratty Castle. The visitors stayed at Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg. Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s head of Australia and developing markets, said, “Tourism Ireland is delighted to bring these influential tour operators to Ireland for the annual New Markets Workshop, which provides such an important opportunity for our Irish tourism partners. Fact-finding visits like this are a valuable element of Tourism Ireland’s overall promotional effort in emerging tourism markets like the Middle East; they provide an excellent opportunity …

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US travel writers visit Bunratty

Travel writers, who contribute to the most influential publications in the US, have just concluded a visit to the Mid-West, which took in a visit to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. The group, which included journalists who work for the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, USA Today and New York Daily News, were brought to the region by Dromoland Castle Hotel. According to Brian Nevin, sales, marketing and reservations manager at Shannon Heritage, the visit was an extremely significant promotional opportunity. “We were delighted to welcome these extremely high profile journalists. “Their visit was a great promotional opportunity and we look forward to reading about their experiences, which they will share with US newspaper readers and their social media followers,” said Mr Nevin.

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Keeping an eye on Russia

TWELVE leading tour operators from Russia visited Clare and the West of Ireland last week. Their visit was organised by UK inbound tour operator, Camelot Tours, and supported by Tourism Ireland to help grow Ireland’s share of the rapidly-growing Russian travel market. News of efforts to develop the Russian market comes in a week when it was officially confirmed that North Americans travelled in big numbers to this country. During their time here, the Russians saw many natural attractions, including the Cliffs of Moher, while they also inspected several hotels, among them Dromoland Castle Hotel and Bunratty Castle Hotel. Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s head of developing markets, said, “We are delighted that these influential Russian tour operators have taken time out of their busy schedules to come and visit Co Clare and Ireland. For all of them, it was their first visit and they were extremely impressed by the spectacular scenery and rich heritage, the many things to see and …

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