The Dáil has heard renewed concerns at the decision by Shannon Heritage to only open its key heritage sites in the MidWest for two months this summer.
It’s already been decided that both Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, and Limerick’s King John’s Castle, will close at the end of August, delivering what some local representatives say is a major blow to other businesses.
Other local heritage sites won’t open at all this year.
There is continued anger over this move by Shannon Heritage from politicians at a local and national level.
After the issue was debated at Monday’s meeting of Clare County Council, it was also raised in the Dáil last night, with two of the county’s TDs arguing that the move represents a significant blow for communities that benefit from the visitors.
While Bunratty and King John’s Castles are due to be open from June 29th to August 31st, Cragganouwen, and Knappogue and Dungauire Castles, will be closed.
Yet at the same time, other Shannon Heritage sites that it manages in Dublin will be open for longer, frustratingly so in the eyes of Deputy Michael McNamara
Former schoolteacher Cathal Crowe held up a miniature model of Bunratty Castle during his contribution
He said that while the 600-year-old building has withstood sieges, famines, burnouts and battles, it is only now facing its greatest challenge, that of financial survival.
But he said the woes of Shannon Heritage will affect many others as well.
Shannon Heritage has said the closure of their sites in March has had a devastating impact on their business, and that it’s had to that the “difficult but necessary” decision to curtail business operations in the absence of international tourists this year.
Marése O’Sullivan, Clare FM, first for local news.