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Tag Archives: bunratty

Shannon Heritage workers to be protected under transfer

THIS morning it has been confirmed that Shannon Heritage’s visitor attractions in Clare including Bunratty Castle, will transfer to Clare County Council, with King John’s Castle transferring to Limerick City and County Council. IN response to a query regarding the transfer, a spokesperson for Shannon Group said, “The transfer of these heritage sites aligns with the two local authorities’ tourism development strategies and will provide opportunities for enhancing synergies and maximising the potential of these heritage sites in the region. The central role which local authorities are playing in tourism product development and sustainable tourism development make them a natural fit for Shannon Heritage.” The Shannon Group statement added, “State agencies in the region are committed to recovery from the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on the airport and on overseas visitors to the Mid-West. The arrangements announced today will assist Shannon Group to focus on the recovery of the airport, building back international passengers as soon as possible, while …

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County Council takeover of Shannon Heritage sites imminent

IT is understood that Minister of State at the Department of Transport Hildegarde Naughton will today bring a memo to cabinet proposing the takeover of the Shannon Heritage sites in the county by Clare County Council. In Clare, Shannon Heritage (which is a part of Shannon Group) has assets including Knappogue Castle, Craggaunowen and Bunratty Castle & Folk Park. The takeover of the attractions by the County Council has been mooted for some time, especially as Clare County Council have expertise in tourism, having run the Cliffs of Moher visitor centre for a number of years. Attractions like Bunratty have been very severely impacted by the pandemic, and with reduced international travel likely for some time to come, their difficulties are not over. Even prior to the pandemic, it is understood they were not delivering large returns to Shannon Group.

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Tales of long ago and close to home

AN APPRECIATION of what is local is one of the (few) upsides of lockdown. Being restricted last year to a 2km, and later a 5km radius for exercise, certainly proved productive for Newmarket-on-Fergus author, Colm Liddy. As a self-confessed “stroller,” Colm, a pharmacist by profession, began to see his native place in a new light. Fascinated by traces of past hidden in ruins and monuments dotted around the area, his inquiring mind led him to research colourful characters, locations and incidents dating from the 1600s to the 1980s. The result is a treasure trove of history in Colm’s latest book, Long Ago in Newmarket-on-Fergus. “I suppose it was the total collapse in sporting activities that forced me to find something to occupy the time,” Colm told The Champion. “I’m fairly obsessed with sport and would normally be playing it and training kids. Covid put an end to all of that. So, my wife and I did a lot of walking …

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Less funding than expected for Bunratty

THIS week it emerged that Shannon Group will not be receiving the expected €2.6 million from Government to keep Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and King John’s Castle open. Instead it appears that it will receive a far smaller sum, something less than €600,000. When it emerged that far less money will now be allocated than was announced during the summer, there was some consternation among workers, but it appears that despite the lower amount of money, jobs will still be maintained. When approached this week, Shannon Group issued a brief statement about the smaller than expected allocation. “Shannon Group is still awaiting final details of the Government funding being provided but we understand it will cover the incremental operational losses of keeping Bunratty Castle & Folk Park and King John’s Castle open from September 1 to December 31, 2020.” Clare TD Cathal Crowe said that while a smaller allocation is being provided, the jobs will be maintained. Explaining the …

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Government not providing expected funding for Bunratty

SHANNON Group will not be receiving a €2.6 million package to keep Bunratty and King John’s Castle open until the end of the year, instead they are likely to receive around one fifth of the sume sought. In a statement on Thursday, it said, ““Shannon Group is still awaiting final details of the Government funding being provided but we understand it will cover the incremental operational losses of keeping Bunratty Castle & Folk Park and King John’s Castle open from September 1 to Dec 31st 2020.” SIPTU Organiser, Rachel Keane, said: “At a meeting with the management of Shannon Heritage our members were stunned by the news that the promise by the Government to provide €2.6 million to ensure that these iconic Shannon Heritage sites would remain open until the end of the year will not be honoured. “The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating for sites run by Shannon Heritage. However, SIPTU members ensured that these sites …

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The Creamery closes after staff member tests positive for virus

THE Creamery Bar and Restaurant has closed temporarily after a person working there was diagnosed with Covid-19. Last Thursday afternoon it posted a message on Facebook saying “The Creamery is presently closed as a precaution due to one member of staff testing positive for Covid-19. “As we are a small team many of our staff have been in contact with that one staff member and now are on restricted movements for 14 days. We don’t have a back up staff to man The Creamery so we will voluntarily be closed for that period of time. “We are working with the HSE and a contact trace log has been prepared and all close contacts will be identified and contacted by the HSE with the appropriate information going forward.” “Under the current government guidelines you should monitor for any Covid-19 symptoms and should they develop then you should follow those guidelines, self isolate and contact your doctor.” The statement also thanked all …

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Reprieve for Bunratty as €2.6 million allocated

THE State has allocated €2.6 million to Shannon Heritage to secure the immediate future of its iconic sites. It had been feared that Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and King John’s Castle would be forced to close at the end of the month, due to the colossal impact from the Covid-19 pandemic on revenue. However, the funding announced today means they will remain open until the end of 2020. Welcoming the news, Mary Considine, CEO, Shannon Group said: “The announcement by Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State for International Road Transport and Logistics of €2.6 million funding to enable us keep our Shannon Heritage sites open to the end of December is very welcome. “The ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating for our heritage business which is hugely dependent on international visitors. With visitor numbers to our owned sites down -80% year-to-date on last year, we sought Government funding to support us through this unprecedented crisis. “Today’s announcement …

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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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