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11% boost in Shannon Heritage visitor numbers

Shannon Heritage has announced that an 11% increase in visitor numbers was recorded in 2014, offering further evidence of a resurgence in local tourism and indeed in the domestic economy. Shannon Heritage employs more than 300 people during peak season and it operates seven daytime visitor attractions, including Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, Craggaunowen, Knappogue Castle and Walled Garden, Dunguaire Castle, the Brian Boru Heritage and Malahide Castle and Gardens. It also has another four evening attractions, with medieval banquets at Bunratty, Knappogue and Dunguaire Castle, as well as a traditional Irish night at Bunratty Folk Park. Overall, they drew 637,000 visitors last year, with the day attractions up by more than 13%, while there are said to have been particular gains from Britain, America and Europe. Indeed, last year was the company’s most successful in terms of visitor numbers since 2007. The single biggest success among the Shannon Heritage operations last year was at King John’s Castle in Limerick, …

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House prices up, supply down

House prices in Ennis have begun to rise again after losing more than half their value over the past seven years and may be up by 20% this year. But the number of properties for sale are falling, as the supply of houses coming to the market contracts. “We’ve seen a significant change since the beginning of August. There was a change from March or April on but from August on – particularly in Ennis – quite a lot of housing supply was snapped up and the available stock has contracted significantly. Houses are selling but the supply is just not being replaced,” said Diarmuid McMahon of Sherry FitzGerald McMahon. “There are more people buying than selling and there’s no new supply. There has been nothing built in five or six years, and that’s starting to bite,” he said. Much of the impetus for rising prices comes from the rise in confidence in the economy this year; and also from …

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Fallen trees still have economic value

THE storm on Wednesday, February 12 was among the worst to hit Ireland since records began. Wind speeds hit up to 170kph, causing severe damage to forests. The worst affected area was the south of Ireland and the damage has been increased further by heavy rain and constant storms experienced by the country since December. Damage caused by wind is called wind-blow. Early reports suggest that wind-blow damage has occurred in recently thinned plantations and plantations older than 15 years. What should you do if your forest has been affected by wind-blow? If you own a forest that has been thinned or is older than 15 years, you should do the following: · Contact your local FEL forester for advice and a free site visit. Freephone 1800 719399; · FEL will carry out an assessment of the damage and provide advice as to what to do next; · If your forest is insured against wind-blow, FEL can assist you with …

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