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Tag Archives: bunratty

Positive results for Clare tourism in travel awards

ALONGSIDE the Cliffs of Moher being named the country’s best visitor attraction in the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards, there was further good news for Clare. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park was also in the top ten, while Hotel Woodstock was ninth in the best hotels category. Sean Lally of Hotel Woodstock said that he was thrilled to be included. “Head over heels! We’re the only Clare hotel listed in it and since we got it over the weekend the phones have been ringing off the hook in terms of bookings and enquiries and website bookings are well up on what they normally would be for this time of year. “It’s a busy time for web bookings anyway, but they’re well ahead and you can see the spike in terms of traffic to our website. It has really been exceptional. We didn’t see this coming!” He feels that the use of social media, which the hotel has become famous for, …

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No progress on Shannon Heritage Clare tourism assets transfer

DESPITE much speculation that there could be progress on the transfer of Shannon Heritage to Clare County Council pre-Christmas, it hasn’t happened as mid-January approaches. Clare TD Joe Carey this week said that no progress has been made as of yet. “It’s still where it was, they are trying to come up with a package to get it over the line with the Council,” . The lead department is the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, which is under the stewardship of Darragh O’Brien. It does involve other departments too, but that’s the main one. There have been efforts to get this over the line, but they have been unsuccessful.” He called for a new impetus to resolve the matter. “I have spoken to all the stakeholders in this repeatedly and we need a resolution for the tourism offering in the county. With the New Year I think there should be a new concentration of minds to get this …

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Shannon Heritage staff: ‘It’s disappointing to be treated so badly’

TEMPERATURES weren’t very far above freezing on Friday, but a number of Shannon Heritage workers still assembled outside Bunratty, looking to vent frustration over the uncertainty around Shannon Heritage’s future. The delays around the transfer are widely seen as farcical and workers outside what was once one of the country’s top tourist attractions brandished signs indicating their disillusionment. ‘Political ping pong’, ‘Master Plan to Master Sham’ and ‘Staff in the dark’ a sample of them read. “We’re gutted at this stage, it’s going on for over a year and a half at this stage,” said Caroline O’Sullivan, one of the protesting employees. “We were told in February of last year it’d be taken over in June. In June we were told Christmas, and here we are another year down the road and we still don’t know. It’s very uncertain for people with mortgages, children going to school or college. It’s a tough time,” she added. Workers are very disappointed with …

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Council says it can’t go ahead with Shannon Heritage takeover

FRUSTRATED at not being given the funding guarantees it says it needs, Clare County Council has released a statement today saying ” it cannot proceed with the proposed takeover of the Clare assets of Shannon Heritage at this time without real and meaningful support from Government.” As recently as yesterday Clare TD Cathal Crowe told workers that he hoped an agreement on the transfer might be completed by Christmas, and the Council statement today, while ostensibly ruling out the transfer at the moment, also says the local authority “remains open to further engagement on the future management and development of Shannon Heritage assets in County Clare.” Clare County Council has been looking for funding of around €15 million to take over Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Craggaunowen Bronze Age Park, Knappogue Castle & Walled Garden, and the Cliffs of Moher Experience retail unit. In today’s statement, the Council said, “In the comprehensive independent Due Diligence report submitted to government, Clare …

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Bunratty staff to be retained in January, despite partial closure

BUNRATTY Castle and Folk Park will be closed to the public four days a week, from mid January to early March. Despite the closure, all of the staff will be retained on their current terms. Speaking to the Clare Champion this week, one worker said, “The Group made an announcement to us recently. The doors will be closing Monday to Wednesday inclusive, but all staff are being retained and fully paid, we’ll just be closed to the public on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The staff will probably be doing other work in their own area, preparatory work, something like that.” In recent years the attraction had closed completely in the early part of the year, so the worker said the announcement is good news. “Of course people are happy to be retained but it is confusing as to why we are closing for the three days. We can’t see where the saving is, it doesn’t seem to make a lot …

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Huge sums sought for Ryder Cup rentals in Clare and elsewhere

THE Ryder Cup is set to bring a big economic boost to the Mid West in 2027, and homeowners in Clare may be able to make tens of thousands of euros through renting their houses to golf fans. The accomommodationfortheevent website is providing a platform for those seeking to rent their houses, and in a number of cases the sums being sought are eye watering. A sum of €17,000 is currently being sought for one four-bedroom house in the Bunratty/Cratloe area. While it’s a huge sum for what’s a short event, it is by no means exceptional, with several property owners looking for more than €40,000 and some up to €50,000. Not all of these are in particularly close proximity to Adare either, with one outside Listowel seeking €45,000. A sum of €28,000 is being sought for an apparently unremarkable three bedroom house in Limerick city. Brian Higgins of www.accommodationfortheevent.com said that many houses in Clare would be of interest …

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Shannon Heritage cedes Limerick asset, but Clare deal more complex

KING John’s Castle has been transferred to Limerick City and County Council, and while the transfer of Shannon Heritage assets to Clare County Council is taking longer, it is still very likely to go ahead in the near future. Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council PJ Ryan said that talks on the transfer are still continuing and going quite well. “It’s ongoing at the minute, my understanding is that the Department is negotiating with the Council at the moment, and that there are positive negotiations regarding the first three years after Clare County Council taking over from Shannon Heritage.” He said that the take over in Clare is far more complex than Limerick City and County Council taking over the running of King John’s Castle, which it actually owned already, but did not operate. “King John’s Castle is a different situation, there’s only one entity there, there’s only a handful of staff. In Clare you’d be talking about four different units …

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CEO: ‘I will not leave Clare County Council exposed’

CLARE County Council won’t be taking over the Shannon Heritage sites in the county until a funding package is put in place to support it. That was the message contained in a report provided to councillors at their meeting on Monday. Councillor Alan O’Callaghan had asked for an update on the expected transfer. He noted that staff have been “in limbo” for some time now, while he said repairs and improvements are required at some of the sites.  Responding CEO Pat Dowling said that the Council has put a lot of emphasis on the transfer, and there have been meetings with the staff on two occasions. He said that it is crucial that the appropriate level of due diligence takes place. “I will not and cannot expose Clare County Council to any unforeseen expenditure.” Further detail to Mr O’Callaghan’s query regarding this due diligence was provided in a response from Director of Rural Development Leonard Cleary. “Clare County Council and …

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