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Tag Archives: Shannon Heritage

Shannon Heritage posts loss of €3 million

SHANNON Heritage made a loss of over €3 million in 2020, according to a newly filed financial statement. The business review section of the document noted that effect of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and its impact on tourism. It stated that the pandemic led to the closure of “significant elements of the company’s business at various times in 2020” and has had a significant and ongoing negative impact on inbound international tourism. The review stated, “In March, following the imposition of Government restrictions, all sites were closed and since then business operations and the opening of the company’s attractions continues to be dictated by the prevailing Government advice. “All banqueting activity ceased in March and has not recommenced since then and the timing of the return of banqueting activities remains uncertain. “Two of our seasonal day visitor sites, Dunguaire and Craggaunowen did not open in 2020.” It noted that since March, the company has had substantial staff numbers on …

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Clare cathaoirleach calls for free parking at Shannon Airport

FREE parking at Shannon Airport has been proposed by the Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, as part of a bid to revive tourism and increase traffic through the Midwest airport. Councillor PJ Ryan received huge support for this call, at the July meeting of the local authority, for an incentive to use Shannon Airport over the likes of Dublin and other facilities. “It is crucial that central government support Shannon,” he said. “There are measure that we can look at on the ground and free parking could be one of those,” The motion was welcomed by Councillor Ann Norton. “Anything that can get people into Shannon Airport is something we should look at,” the Independent member said. “There was great excitement in our house with Ryanair’s Turin service. That will mean people can go skiing in the winter and any opportunity to get Shannon off the ground again is welcome. It’s great to have an international airport on our doorstep …

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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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Shannon Heritage workers to be protected under transfer

THIS morning it has been confirmed that Shannon Heritage’s visitor attractions in Clare including Bunratty Castle, will transfer to Clare County Council, with King John’s Castle transferring to Limerick City and County Council. IN response to a query regarding the transfer, a spokesperson for Shannon Group said, “The transfer of these heritage sites aligns with the two local authorities’ tourism development strategies and will provide opportunities for enhancing synergies and maximising the potential of these heritage sites in the region. The central role which local authorities are playing in tourism product development and sustainable tourism development make them a natural fit for Shannon Heritage.” The Shannon Group statement added, “State agencies in the region are committed to recovery from the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on the airport and on overseas visitors to the Mid-West. The arrangements announced today will assist Shannon Group to focus on the recovery of the airport, building back international passengers as soon as possible, while …

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County Council takeover of Shannon Heritage sites imminent

IT is understood that Minister of State at the Department of Transport Hildegarde Naughton will today bring a memo to cabinet proposing the takeover of the Shannon Heritage sites in the county by Clare County Council. In Clare, Shannon Heritage (which is a part of Shannon Group) has assets including Knappogue Castle, Craggaunowen and Bunratty Castle & Folk Park. The takeover of the attractions by the County Council has been mooted for some time, especially as Clare County Council have expertise in tourism, having run the Cliffs of Moher visitor centre for a number of years. Attractions like Bunratty have been very severely impacted by the pandemic, and with reduced international travel likely for some time to come, their difficulties are not over. Even prior to the pandemic, it is understood they were not delivering large returns to Shannon Group.

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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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Different views for future Shannon Heritage ownership

THE government has been urged to put a strategic plan in place to support the development of Shannon Airport and tourism attractions this year. This issue was raised by Deputy Michael McNamara in the Dáil recently when he reminded An Taoiseach Micheál Martin that he highlighted the Shannon Group, Shannon Airport and their pivotal role for the economic well being of the Mid-West following his elevation six months ago. Deputy McNamara asked what plan is in place to support aviation and tourism across the Mid-West in 2020. “What is the plan for Shannon Heritage? The two sites that have opened are closing on January 3. It is planned to open the sites again in April, but Shannon Heritage remains in the Shannon Group with a commercial mandate and the sites ill fit a commercial mandate because while they generate money, they generate money more broadly in the economy than they do within the group itself. The Taoiseach acknowledged this “serious” …

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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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