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Tag Archives: Craggaunowen

GALLERY: Fun in the sun at Bunratty Castle and Craggaunowen

IT WAS a wonderful Easter weekend at two of Clare’s premier attractions – Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and Craggaunowen. The Clare Champion’s mascot Daisy certainly had a great time at both venues. We’re certainly blessed to have such great amenities on our doorstep in the Banner County.

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Archaeological team set to carve replica of prized Pagan idol at Craggaunowen

AN attempt will be made in Clare this month to carve a replica of a recently discovered wooden pagan idol. The 2.5m oak carved idol, which is over 1,600 years old, was unearthed by archaeologists with Clare-based firm AMS (Archaeological Management Solutions). On Saturday, August 28, AMS staff, members UCD’s Centre for Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture and the Pallasboy Vessel Project (UCC) will endeavour to carve a replica of the Gortnacrannagh Idol at Craggaunowen’s Living Past Experience. Work on the replica will start at 10am and continue throughout the day with visitors to the site able to watch the progress. Dr Ros Ó Maoldúin of AMS explained, “Since the Gortnacrannagh Idol is such a unique and significant find, we are making a replica to help us understand the idol better and appreciate how it was made. “It will be possible for people to see this in action at the Craggaunowen Archaeology Park in County Clare during the last weekend …

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Quin residents say Knappogue and Craggaunowen have been ‘abandoned’

CONCERN in the Quin area over the ongoing closure of two local Shannon Heritage sites has prompted a call for an action committee to ensure their future. With the advent of the pandemic last March, five sites in Clare and Limerick faced an uncertain future, due to the collapse in overseas visitor numbers. Only Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and King John’s Castle in Limerick have managed to stay open after intense campaigns involving staff, unions and politicians, and a promise of funding from government – the exact details of which are still being ironed out. Ger O’Halloran of Quin, a businessman and former local election candidate, has pleaded with those responsible not to abandon Knappogue Castle and Craggaunowen, and called for a local action committee to be established. “To look at Knappogue now, it is locked up and unkempt looking,” he remarked. “The longer it is closed, the more it will cost to get it open again. To maintain …

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Craggaunowen closure ‘ideological’ says McNamara

FUTURE development of tourism in East Clare will require new strategies to ensure that key historical sites are sustained as drivers of economic activity, according to a local TD. Scariff’s Deputy Michael McNamara has made the case, once again, for an alternative management structure for the Clare sites operated currently by Shannon Heritage. Since the advent of the pandemic, sites like Craggaunowen and Knappogue Castle outside the village of Quin have remained closed, amid a steep fall-off in international visitor numbers. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, which had been set to close in the autumn, secured an eleventh hour reprieve after a government funding injection of €2.6m. The money will enable it and King John’s Castle to stay open until the end of this year. Speaking to Scariff Bay Community Radio, the Independent TD said he had raised the need to support the wider Shannon Group, with Micheál Martin, before and since his election as Taoiseach. Deputy McNamara added that …

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Call for Council to Take Over Craggaunowen Vistor Centre

ONE of the pioneers of tourism in Clare would be “turning in his grave” at the decision to curtail access to Shannon Heritage facilities, a local authority member has said. Councillor Pat Hayes has slammed the decision to keep Knappogue Castle and Craggaunowen closed until further notice, in response to the pandemic, and to limit the season for Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. He said the situation flew in the face of the legacy of Dr Brendan O’Regan, who was instrumental in developing the amenities. “Given how important domestic tourism will be this year, and the fact that people are looking for facilities close to home, the decision is very disappointing,” he said. “As well as their importance to tourism in the midwest, these are vital facilities in terms of Irish history and heritage. Dr Brendan O’Regan would be turning in his grave over this.” The Fianna Fáil member there is now a strong case for a local authority take-over …

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11% boost in Shannon Heritage visitor numbers

Shannon Heritage has announced that an 11% increase in visitor numbers was recorded in 2014, offering further evidence of a resurgence in local tourism and indeed in the domestic economy. Shannon Heritage employs more than 300 people during peak season and it operates seven daytime visitor attractions, including Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, Craggaunowen, Knappogue Castle and Walled Garden, Dunguaire Castle, the Brian Boru Heritage and Malahide Castle and Gardens. It also has another four evening attractions, with medieval banquets at Bunratty, Knappogue and Dunguaire Castle, as well as a traditional Irish night at Bunratty Folk Park. Overall, they drew 637,000 visitors last year, with the day attractions up by more than 13%, while there are said to have been particular gains from Britain, America and Europe. Indeed, last year was the company’s most successful in terms of visitor numbers since 2007. The single biggest success among the Shannon Heritage operations last year was at King John’s Castle in Limerick, …

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Time travel feel at Craggaunowen Festival

Re-enactors dressed in costume spanning the Iron Age and early Medieval period to the 16th century will add a time-travel feel to a  special Lughnasa celebration being organised by Shannon Heritage at Craggaunowen visitor attraction near Quin over the bank holiday weekend. John Ruddle, chief  executive Shannon Heritage said, “The ancient pagan festival of Lughnasa marks the first day of autumn and the start of the harvest season. The event will be staged by Claíomh Living History Group whose members have many years of experience as historical interpreters and living history specialists.” Visitors to Craggaunowen will have the opportunity to celebrate Lughnasa on Sunday and Monday August. “Claíomh Living History Group will add a time-travel feel to the event, giving visitors a glimpse of what living conditions were like for Hiberno-Norse families living in a Crannóg. On display will be a range of replica Viking Age clothing, artefacts, weapons and silverwork,” Mr Ruddle continued. A number of showcase events from …

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Easter fun at Bunratty and Craggaunowen

SHANNON Heritage has lined up a feast of family fun this Easter at  Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and Craggaunowen. Easter fun at Craggaunowen kicks-off on Easter Sunday with a special guest appearance from the Easter Bunny. A fun filled afternoon is planned with puppet theatre, magic shows, bouncy castle, storytelling, face painting and traditional Irish music as well as some delicious Easter eggs for all to enjoy. Visitors will also have the opportunity to view the famous Brendan Boat, which historian and explorer Tim Severin and his crew used to re-enact the voyage of St Brendan the Navigator, reputed to have discovered America centuries before Columbus. Thanks to Tim’s kindness, Shannon Heritage are fortunate to have the honour of housing the Brendan Boat at Craggaunowen for visitors to view and appreciate this amazing story of courage, determination and fortitude. Meanwhile, celebrations at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park on Monday at 1pm features “Wrestling Warriors on Tour”, an American style …

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