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Tag Archives: Shannon Heritage

United front needed to fight domestic tourism battle

With international travel effectively grounded, those involved in the tourism sector in Clare will find themselves in a dogfight with established tourist centres like Killarney and Kilkenny for their slice of the domestic market. Tourism consultant Cillian Murphy believes that the whole tourism year in Clare will hinge on the domestic market and there should be a unified approach between all the stakeholders so that Clare is able to compete. However, he also feels that Clare will be fighting an uphill battle in consequence of Shannon Heritage’s decision to “lock up shop” and close its major tourist attractions from the end of August. “There’s only the one game in town and that is the domestic market. I’d imagine we will see some bit of business from Northern Ireland and maybe the UK. But inconsequential is how I would label international travel this year,” he suggests. Tourism interests in Clare will have to bring their A game in their endeavours to …

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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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O’Callaghan leaving Shannon Heritage

NIALL O’Callaghan is stepping down as the Managing Director of Shannon Heritage. Shannon Heritage operates a number of Clare visitor attractions including Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and Knappogue Castle, while it also operates King John’s Castle in Limerick. It had been hit hard by the closure of the attractions due to Covid-19. In response to a media query about his departure this afternoon, Shannon Group, of which Shannon Heritage is a part, said, “Shannon Group has confirmed that Niall O’Callaghan, Managing Director, Shannon Heritage, has informed the Group of his decision to leave the Company in order to take up other opportunities.” Mr O’Callaghan joined Shannon Heritage in 2017, having previously been with IDA Ireland. Commenting on his decision, Mary Considine, CEO, Shannon Group said: “I would like to thank Niall for his contribution to Shannon Heritage and Shannon Group during his tenure as Managing Director of Shannon Heritage and wish him and his family the very best for …

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Limited reopening for Bunratty, other Shannon Heritage sites staying closed

BUNRATTY Castle & Folk Park will only open for six more weeks in 2020, while other Shannon Group operated sites in Clare, including Craggaunowen and Knappogue Castle, are going to stay shut for the rest of the year. In a statement today Shannon Group said that Bunratty Castle & Folk Park and King John’s Castle in Limerick will reopen from July 20 to August 31 A spokesperson said, “The closure of all Shannon Heritage sites on March 13th for public health reasons, has had a devastating impact on our business. It is becoming increasingly likely that there will be no international tourists in Ireland for the remainder of this year, a market that Shannon Heritage relies heavily on. As a result of this, Shannon Heritage has had to take difficult but necessary business decisions. “Bunratty Castle & Folk Park and King John’s Castle will open for a 6-week period from July 20. As there may not be any international visitors, …

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Red deer to roam Bunratty once more

Red deer, once synonymous with Bunratty, can once again be seen roaming the grounds of the folk park. Shannon Heritage introduced two females, currently in calf and due to give birth in May, to the park this week. A young stag will also be arriving shortly at Bunratty. Speaking about the arrival of the red deer, Niall O’Callaghan, Managing Director, Shannon Heritage said: “Red deer have been synonymous with Bunratty Folk Park for over thirty years. They have been a hugely popular attraction as people enjoy seeing such majestic animals at close quarters. They are also seen as a real symbolic animal of Ireland by overseas visitors in particular. “Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is a living, working visitor attraction. We are really excited to have red deer back here at our site. With over 26 acres, our deer will have plenty of room to make themselves at home. The close ties between Shannon Heritage and our animals is evident …

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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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27 jobs to go at Shannon Heritage

TWENTY-SEVEN employees of Shannon Heritage are reported to have accepted a voluntary severance package offer. The redundancies, according to a source based at Bunratty Folk Park, come after two years of financial losses. In response, a spokesperson for the company said, “Shannon Heritage employs over 360 staff across all its visitor sites in the peak tourist season and is central to the prosperity of the regional economy, delivering significant spin-off benefits to a range of businesses each year. Like all businesses, Shannon Heritage needs to continuously look at ways to improve its operating efficiency. “As part of this, we introduced a voluntary severance scheme across all our sites, which enables us to restructure how we deliver our services. We continue to invest in our people and facilities to ensure we offer a first-class customer experience.” The spokesperson added, “Through this voluntary process, we are pleased to have been able to accommodate the majority of staff who applied to avail of this opportunity. …

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A good year for Shannon Group

Shannon Group plc recorded another positive year of trading in 2016, as turnover hit €67.2 million, up by over 2% on 2015.  In its second full year of trading, the group, the parent company of Shannon Airport, Shannon Commercial Properties and Shannon Heritage, recorded EBITDA of €7.6 million, reflecting a solid performance and a 10% increase on 2015. Announcing his first annual results as CEO of Shannon Group, Matthew Thomas said that a continuation of the company’s improving financial performance is necessary to enable it to undertake critical investments across its business units. “The Shannon Group has a unique mix of complementary businesses that, more than any other commercial entity in the region, gives it the potential to positively influence economic development. Sixteen companies who announced new or expanded operations in 2016 in the Mid-West, which was the fastest growing region outside of Dublin last year, cited the global connectivity at Shannon Airport as a key influencer in their decision to …

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