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Tag Archives: Niall O’Callaghan

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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Councillors’ concern over Dublin Airport dominance

    EAST Clare councillors have expressed concern over the stranglehold Dublin Airport has on the grown of passenger numbers over the last five years. Passenger numbers at Shannon Airport are expected to be up to around 1.8 million by the end of this year representing over 30% of an increase since the airport became independent, separating from the Dublin group five years ago. Cork Airport has grown by more than 2%, which translates into 50,000 and Knock Airport by 12% in the same period Traffic at Shannon Airport has grown by over 400,000 since 2013, when the airport began managing its own business future after new legislation allowed it function independently of the Dublin Airport Authority. However, Shannon Heritage managing director, Niall O’Callaghan pointed out the “unhealthy dominance” of Dublin Airport comes sharply into focus with confirmation passengers numbers at the city terminal grew by almost ten million in the same period. Given the focus on regional developments and …

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Killaloe tourism office closure under fire

  THE closure of the tourism office in Killaloe two years ago has been criticised as a “hugely detrimental” move against the promotion of East Clare and the town. Councillor Tony O’Brien highlighted the impact of closure during a questions and answer session with Shannon Heritage managing director, Niall O’Callaghan at a recent Killaloe Municipal District meeting. The Fianna Fáil Councillor recalled the operation of this tourism office was very beneficial particularly for tourists who came off the Dublin to Limerick motorway a few miles from Ballina. “The closure of this tourism office was hugely detrimental and a backward step. I would ask Shannon Heritage to consider re-opening this tourism office because it is a very necessary and vital piece of infrastructure for this part of the county,” he said Mr O’Callaghan said it was very important to clarify the role of Shannon Heritage, which operates as a commercial semi-state and this is very different to the role they previously …

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new tourism strategy aims to disperse visitors

THE dispersal of tourists from the Wild Atlantic Way to other parts of Clare is one of the main aims of the new tourism strategy, according to a local tourism chief. Speaking at a recent Killaloe Municipal District meeting, Shannon Heritage managing director, Niall O’Callaghan said one of the objectives of the new strategy is to disperse the tourism traffic movement from the Wild Atlantic Way onto Loop Head, North Clare, Bunratty and East Clare. “No other county in Ireland has the range of attractions that Clare has. Shannon Heritage is working with the council executive to build a strategy to disrupt the flow, not take from the Wild Atlantic Way and keep these people in Clare for as long as possible. “Getting more tourists to the likes of Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is also a key focus for Shannon Heritage. “It is fantastic to see the Cliffs of Moher getting 1.5 million visitors a year. But how many …

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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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Planning future development of the Shannon Estuary

IDA Ireland has welcomed the completion of the Stratetic Integrated Framework Plan (SIFP) for the Shannon Estuary, aimed at promoting investment and development opportunities. IDA’s Regional Manager for the Mid West, Niall O’Callaghan welcomed the culmination of the project which he was involved with on behalf of the agency and said: “Bringing all stakeholders along the Estuary together to work on a coordinated approach to market six strategic sites is a significant step in the Estuary’s future development.” The Shannon Estuary is Ireland’s premier deep-water port, routinely catering for bulk ships with key ports at Limerick and Foynes and direct connectivity to all major international shipping lanes. It is home to a number of large employers, including IDA-backed Aughinish Alumina. The project was launched in late 2013 and was developed with input from a cross sectoral working group, namely Clare, Kerry and Limerick City & County Councils, IDA Ireland, Shannon Commercial Properties and the Shannon Foynes Port Company. The project …

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