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Tag Archives: Bunratty Castle

Crowe seeks government investment to keep Shannon Heritage sites open

CLARE Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe is calling for “strong commitment” from all sides to keep the iconic Shannon Heritage sites open for the remainder of this year. He says that he will seek financial input from government, which Shannon Group say is necessary to keep the Shannon Heritage sites operational. COVID-19 has seen the rug effectively pulled from the 2020 tourism season, leaving many with an uncertain future, including Shannon Heritage. A figure of €4m is needed from government to keep the sites, which include Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and King John’s Castle, open into the autumn and winter. “I was among a strong crowd at Shannon Airport on Monday, taking part in a rally calling for Shannon Heritage sites to remain open year-round,” said Deputy Crowe. “There are dozens of people in this county whose jobs will be lost if this is not the case, not to mention the countless B&Bs and pubs and cafés and restaurants …

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Carey calls for takeover of Shannon Heritage sites

The possibility of transferring Shannon Heritage sites under the control of the local authority or the Office of Public Works must be “explored and supported”, Clare TD Joe Carey has said. Deputy Carey spoke out after he received confirmation that the Government is to carry out a review of the Shannon Group, which currently operates the heritage sites. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and St John’s Castle in Limerick have reopened after the lockdown but are due to close again at the end of August. Other key sites such as Craggaunowen Castle, Knappogue Castle and Dunguaire Castle have not reopened, which has created great uncertainty among Shannon Heritage employees. Speaking after he met with Shannon Heritage workers on Monday, Deputy Carey called on the Shannon Group to make a formal application for further supports to enable the heritage sites to reopen on a year-round basis. The local Fine Gael TD said: “I have raised this in the Dáil on several occasions – including last week …

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Clare tourist attractions closing

A NUMBER of the county’s top visitor attractions are closing until March 29, following a decision today from Shannon Group. The temporary suspension involves King John’s Castle in Limerick; Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, retail outlets at the Cliffs of Moher and Adare Heritage Centre, and also in Dublin Malahide Castle & Gardens; the Casino Model Railway Museum, Newbridge House & Farm, and GPO Witness History Museum. The suspension also includes Shannon Group’s medieval banqueting operations at Bunratty, Knappogue and Dunguaire Castles and its traditional Irish Night at Bunratty Folk Park. Mary Considine, CEO, Shannon Group said: “At this time the health and wellbeing of our employees and customers is our primary concern. In their best interests, and in line with recommendations from the Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, we have taken the decision to temporarily close all of our sites from this evening until the 29th of March.” Niall O’Callaghan, Managing Director of Shannon Heritage said: …

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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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