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Tag Archives: Shannon Group

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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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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Finn and Dutch model shows way for Shannon, says Crowe

IRISH aviation has become more and more unbalanced over the last decade with Dublin increasingly dominant, leading to many calls for new national policy. Speaking this week, Clare TD Cathal Crowe explained that there are options available, which have been successful in distributing traffic in other countries. “I think we need to leverage support for Shannon and the other airports, we are battling for Shannon but this for all airports. We either leverage funding off them, so the flights in Dublin are levied with a fund that goes to other airports. Another option, and I believe they have done this in a number of other countries, is that if an airline wants a landing slot in the capital, they can get it, but on condition that once or twice a week they also fly out of one of the other airports in the country. I think we could do that.” He said that such a policy would help to spread …

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Covid plan “entirely vague and unsatisfactory” on aviation

THE Government’s newly published plan for dealing with Covid-19, Resilience and Recovery, had relatively little to say about aviation, and no measure that will bring immediate comfort to Shannon, which is facing the potential loss of Ryanair services for the winter, along with its Aer Lingus transatlantic services. Essentially it proposes that Ireland apply the principles of a European Commission regime to have a common approach to travel within the EU. “It is proposed that Ireland broadly support the European Commission proposals and should continue to engage with Member States and the Commission to develop a regime that is consistent with public health requirements, cognisant of public of resources and capacity, while supportive of our need to support air transport,” it states. Clare TD Michael McNamara was far from pleased with what was set out. “It’s entirely vague and unsatisfactory. It’s almost as if things are going fine and we don’t really need to address this, when, in fact, our …

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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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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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Shannon airport

Shannon Group CEO appears before Covid-19 committee

Among the people appearing before the Special Committee on Covid-19 Response today is Shannon Group CEO Mary Considine. Representatives of Ryanair, Aer Lingus and the DAA are also appearing before the committee in Leinster House. Passenger numbers at Shannon have fallen very significantly since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, while some Shannon Heritage sites have remained closed and others, including Bunratty Castle, are due to close for the season at the end of August. Shannon Group is also responsible for the operation of Shannon Heritage.  Speaking before the meeting, Committee chairman, Michael McNamara TD said: “The catastrophic impact the pandemic response has had on the aviation industry was outlined to Committee members, last week by unions. TDs were warned of a “tsunami” of redundancies and the potential liquidation of Aer Lingus. “We will continue our investigation into this sector, when we hear from officials from the management of Dublin, Cork and Shannon Airports and officials from airlines; Aer Lingus …

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