Home » Tag Archives: Shannon Heritage (page 2)

Tag Archives: Shannon Heritage

Government funding sought to rescue iconic tourist attractions

WITH hoteliers and others in the tourism business furious about the early closure of Shannon Heritage sites this year, Shannon Group has said it has approached the Government seeking very significant funding. It says it is already losing money at the tourist attractions and there is no way that it could keep them open beyond August 31 without substantial funding to cover operational losses. In response to a query from The Clare Champion, Shannon Group said it has already made a submission to the Government looking for funding for the Shannon Heritage sites, in particular Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and King John’s Castle. It claimed it had done so to assist with the long-term survival of these heritage operations, in the context of the sudden collapse in international visitors due to Covid-19. On the level of support being sought, a spokesperson said that “a multi-million euro support package” is required. While Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and King John’s …

Read More »

Carey calls for takeover of Shannon Heritage sites

The possibility of transferring Shannon Heritage sites under the control of the local authority or the Office of Public Works must be “explored and supported”, Clare TD Joe Carey has said. Deputy Carey spoke out after he received confirmation that the Government is to carry out a review of the Shannon Group, which currently operates the heritage sites. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and St John’s Castle in Limerick have reopened after the lockdown but are due to close again at the end of August. Other key sites such as Craggaunowen Castle, Knappogue Castle and Dunguaire Castle have not reopened, which has created great uncertainty among Shannon Heritage employees. Speaking after he met with Shannon Heritage workers on Monday, Deputy Carey called on the Shannon Group to make a formal application for further supports to enable the heritage sites to reopen on a year-round basis. The local Fine Gael TD said: “I have raised this in the Dáil on several occasions – including last week …

Read More »

Shannon Airport cuts premature

Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe has said that last evening’s announcement about job cuts at Shannon Airport was a premature step. A letter circulated to workers informing them of the decision, which has been attributed to the unprecedented challenges in the aviation sector. Voluntary severance packages, reduced working hours and career breaks are all being offered. “This is a huge blow to not only the airport but also the county and region as a whole,” said Deputy Crowe. “I feel the decision was taken prematurely and it would have been more prudent to wait to see is contained in the July stimulus package in terms of support for the airport. “This week, I’ve been in contact with staff at Shannon Airport and Shannon Heritage and based on their stories, I’ve a list of 29 questions compiled which I will be raising directly with Mary Considine today. “I also intend to seek a meeting with Micheál Martin to discuss …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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, …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »