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Tag Archives: Shannon Group

Shortlist of Shannon Group Chair candidates is ‘with Minister’

ALMOST a year after Rose Hynes’ tenure concluded, there is still no chairperson of the board of Shannon Group, but a shortlist for the position has been finalised. In a statement this week the Department of Transport said that the Public Appointments Service has carried out its work, and that Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan is considering the names that it has given him. “The Public Appointments Service (PAS) recently concluded the selection process for the position of Chairperson of the Board of Shannon Group. The Minister is conscious that this is an important and challenging time for Shannon Group. Accordingly, the Minister intends to appoint a new Chairperson to this key position as soon as possible, following due consideration of the candidate shortlist.” Local politicians had expected that the vacancy would be filled a month ago, before the Dáil concluded for the summer, but that never happened. It is almost six months since the appointment of businessman Aaron Forde …

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Councillors hail opportunities from heritage sites transfer

THE Chief Executive of the local authority has pledged to spend the summer working to secure the national support that will be needed if Shannon Heritage’s Clare attractions are to transfer to the council. At July meeting of the authority, a number of members welcomed the announcement that a process of due diligence involving the council and Shannon Group is underway. Chief Executive Pat Dowling told members that he is putting a council team together with the necessary financial and legal expertise and that he himself will meet staff at the Clare attractions in the month of August. News of the potential transfer was announced at the end of last month. It followed a protracted period of uncertainty and intermittent closure, caused by Covid restrictions, for Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, Knappogue Castle and Craggaunowen, as well as Shannon Heritage’s other sites. The matter was noted at the local authority meeting by Councillor Joe Garrihy who described the potential transfer …

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Appointment of new Shannon Group chair said to be imminent

IT is understood a new Shannon Group chairperson could be appointed within days. As recently as last week senior figures in Government were of the view that the appointment could be completed by the time the Dáil was due to rise for the summer on Thursday, July 15. Shannon Group has been without a chairperson since last summer. The position was due to be filled by Aaron Forde in February, but after a series of offensive tweets from him emerged his appointment never went ahead, and the search for a successor to Rose Hynes had to recommence. Some months ago the names of Padraig Ó Céidigh, the former Aer Arann owner and Eamon Foley, who held senior roles in Aer Rianta International for 20 years were being linked with the position. Clare TD Joe Carey said he expects white smoke very soon. “It’s my understanding that the appointment of a chairperson of the board is imminent. It’s important that Government …

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Unanimous support for transfer of attractions to county council

THE transfer of the Shannon Heritage sites in Clare to the County Council has united the county’s politicians, with a number of statements welcoming the move. Independent TD Michael McNamara said, ““Last summer I went to Clare County Council to propose that the local authority express its interest in taking over Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Craggaunowen, Knappogue Castle and the retail unit at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience having discussed the matter directly with staff of Shannon Heritage and Shannon Group plc management.”. He continued, “I am glad that this proposal is coming to fruition as it will give a new lease of life to these vital heritage tourism assets and to staff who have found themselves in a precarious position over the past 16 months.” The Scariff man said he had raised the matter with Government numerous times and believes it is a step in the right direction. “This is a good move for the visitor attractions …

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Shannon airport

Action urged on new Group chair

McNamara ribs Tanaiste over previous role in Shannon appointments SHANNON Group badly needs to see a new chairperson appointed, Clare TD Michael McNamara told the Dáil last week. He also taunted the Tanaiste regarding the role he played in having Rose Hynes reappointed as its chair in the past. “It has been an extraordinarily difficult year for Shannon Airport. Throughout much, if not all, of the past year, it has not had a chair for its board of directors. “Strategic decisions need to be made at Shannon regarding its aviation business but also in respect of Shannon Heritage and its future. The chair of a board of directors is there to provide strategic guidance,” he said. “When the Tánaiste was Taoiseach, Shane Ross was his Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, and I am told he wrote a book about the experience. “He rang the then chair of Shannon Airport to tell her he was not going to continue her …

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Campaign to find chair as board shy of gender target

THE position of chair of Shannon Group is to be advertised once more, following February’s fiasco when a candidate was announced and then stepped down within hours. Aaron Forde had been announced as the appointee, before the emergence of several offensive tweets by the former head of agri business Aurivo emerged. There had been some uncertainty about what would happen next, but an email to Clare TD Joe Carey from Transport Minister Eamon Ryan’s office this week sought to clarify the situation. The email stated, “Minister Ryan and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton have agreed to launch a new campaign with the Public Appointments Service (PAS) and the minister has requested that this process be concluded as expeditiously as possible. “Department officials are currently engaging with PAS on progressing this new campaign and the department expects to receive clarity from PAS regarding the proposed dates and timeline for this competition in the very near future,” the email stated. Deputy Carey …

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Pandemic leaves a €28m hole

SHANNON Group recorded a loss of over €28 million in 2020, with the pandemic devastating its aviation and tourism businesses. In the group’s annual report for 2020, Chief Executive Mary Considine wrote, “We found ourselves facing an unprecedented crisis which resulted in the group recording a loss for the year of €28.2 million (post tax and exceptional items) compared to a profit in 2019 of €21.6 million, a reduction of almost €50 million. “During the year, the group incurred exceptional charges of €27.9 million, the main exceptional item being an impairment in the carrying value of the airport of €24.5 million, which was necessitated as a result of the uncertain passenger outlook due to Covid-19. “Group revenue was down 57% to €34.3 million in 2020 from almost €80 million in 2019. Faced with this significant reduction in revenue, the group implemented stringent cost control measures. “Our overall operating costs reduced by 42.5% in the year, to just under €30 million,” …

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Tourism plan aims to make Clare “globally renowned” destination

AN ambitious roadmap for tourism development which aims to make Clare a “globally-renowned sustainable and vibrant destination”, is being unveiled this Thursday. Clare County Council, supported by Fáilte Ireland, is launching the ‘County Clare Tourism Strategy 2030’, setting out the development of tourism in County Clare post-Covid and over the next decade. The focus of the strategy is on strengthening leadership and collaboration, improving connectivity, building vibrant experiences, enhancing supporting infrastructure and knowledge, and creating awareness.  Strategic priorities set out in the plan include working to develop the profile, experiences and infrastructure of Ennis as a core hub attraction and gateway to the county, as well as working with community partners to strengthen the role of towns and villages as destination hubs. Others include working with Shannon Airport to secure and sustain new routes; prioritising the development of the West Clare Rail Greenway; promoting the Lower Lough Derg as a signature destination; establishing sustainable travel options designed to support tourism …

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