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Tag Archives: bunratty

Government funding sought to rescue iconic tourist attractions

WITH hoteliers and others in the tourism business furious about the early closure of Shannon Heritage sites this year, Shannon Group has said it has approached the Government seeking very significant funding. It says it is already losing money at the tourist attractions and there is no way that it could keep them open beyond August 31 without substantial funding to cover operational losses. In response to a query from The Clare Champion, Shannon Group said it has already made a submission to the Government looking for funding for the Shannon Heritage sites, in particular Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and King John’s Castle. It claimed it had done so to assist with the long-term survival of these heritage operations, in the context of the sudden collapse in international visitors due to Covid-19. On the level of support being sought, a spokesperson said that “a multi-million euro support package” is required. While Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and King John’s …

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Closure will be ‘catastrophic for the area’

THE closure of the Shannon Heritage attractions will be a massive blow to Clare tourism, according to local businessman Emelyn Heaps. “It will be catastrophic for the area. You also have King John’s Castle, you’ve got Knappogue and you’ve got Craggaunowen, hundreds of jobs are going to go and the board (of Shannon Group) don’t care,” he commented this week. He was scathing about the board, who he feels should step down. “I’m calling for the Board of Shannon Group to fire themselves, I think it’s deplorable what they’re doing. They’ve done a deplorable job and they should do the honourable thing and fall on their own swords.” Mr Heaps added, “One of the major assets that Clare has is that, outside of Dublin, it has two of the top attractions, the Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, but they’re talking about closing one of them.” Ennis hotelier Seán Lally said he is very disappointed in the …

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O’Callaghan leaving Shannon Heritage

NIALL O’Callaghan is stepping down as the Managing Director of Shannon Heritage. Shannon Heritage operates a number of Clare visitor attractions including Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and Knappogue Castle, while it also operates King John’s Castle in Limerick. It had been hit hard by the closure of the attractions due to Covid-19. In response to a media query about his departure this afternoon, Shannon Group, of which Shannon Heritage is a part, said, “Shannon Group has confirmed that Niall O’Callaghan, Managing Director, Shannon Heritage, has informed the Group of his decision to leave the Company in order to take up other opportunities.” Mr O’Callaghan joined Shannon Heritage in 2017, having previously been with IDA Ireland. Commenting on his decision, Mary Considine, CEO, Shannon Group said: “I would like to thank Niall for his contribution to Shannon Heritage and Shannon Group during his tenure as Managing Director of Shannon Heritage and wish him and his family the very best for …

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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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Bunratty and Ennis to show Pride of Place

The communities of Bunratty and Ennis will represent County Clare in the 2019 IPB Pride of Place competition this Saturday in Lyrath Estsate Kilkenny. The two separate projects have been nominated by the Rural Development Directorate of Clare County Council to participate in annual all-island competition, which is run by Co-operation Ireland and aims to recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that communities make to society. Bunratty Local Development Association has been nominated in the Community Tourism Initiative category. Formed five years ago, the Association’s activities are focused on regenerating the heart of the village through restoration works, landscaping and maintaining the village to the highest possible standard. Among the projects undertaken to date By local volunteers is the restoration of monuments, planting, landscaping, two new heritage style bus shelters in village centre, using local skills and labour and a new gateway to the graveyard and old mediaeval church – which is the oldest building in Bunratty. Ennis Tidy Towns …

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Death in Bunratty and the long search for answers

“He clocked me,  he clocked me,  he clocked me,” The dying words of Pat Nugent, made to his colleague Declan O’Neill. EIGHTEEN and 21 years of age when their brother Pat breathed his last, John and Martin Nugent are now in their 50s, still looking to find out what happened in Bunratty in the early hours of February 11, 1984. One thing is for certain, an incident there that morning brought about the death of their brother Pat. They believe that some people know what happened but they have never been open about it, never offered the Nugent family that much comfort. It’s a case that has resonated for decades, with the uncertainty and tragedy mixed with the fact that two off-duty guards were involved, meaning that it really captured the public’s interest and attention, while the long wait of the Nugents for truth, let alone justice, would evoke empathy in the most detached of people. In October of 1985, …

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Pieta House Darkness into Light

Bucket theft ‘heartbreak’ for Pieta House

AS thousands of people walked through the streets of Ennis to show their support for Darkness Into Light and Pieta House, callous thieves stole from the charity and are continuing to do so, in what has been described as a “heartbreak”. A collection bucket was stolen in the early hours of Saturday morning, May 12 and unsuspecting members of the public are now being targeted by fake collections. Reports have already been received by the Darkness Into Light organising committee in Ennis of a number of fraudulent bucket collections in the county town, Bunratty and Corofin. The matter has been reported to An Garda Síochána and the charity is appealing to members of the public who might suspect a fake collection, that they contact the gardaí. It is understood that the collections are being carried out by a male teenager wearing a blue Pieta House t-shirt. Councillor Mary Howard, one of the organising committee of Darkness Into Light, said, “Pieta …

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Tragedy on our roads

CRUSHEEN teenager Delia Keary has become the fourth Clare person to die as a result of road traffic accidents in recent days. The 18 year old had been a passenger in a car which collided with a truck at Wards Cross near Abbeyfeale on Friday evening. 19 year old Gary Kelly from Ennis died at the scene while Delia was taken to University Hospital, Limerick for treatment. However Gardai have confirmed that she passed away on Saturday night. Newcastle West Gardai are investigating the incident and they have appealed to witnesses to contact them on 069 20650, The Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station. Also the funeral takes place on Monday of Clare native Paul Hannon, who lost his life after he was involved in a collision with a car while cycling in Dublin on Friday morning. While last Thursday, three year old Estlin Wall was laid to rest after she had died following a …

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