Bunratty Castle ‘in need of reinvigoration’

By Gordon Deegan

Shannon Group offshoot Shannon Heritage has confirmed a date for a major overhaul of its flagship visitor attraction, the Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, after admitting it is “in need of re-invigoration”.

Revenues at Shannon Heritage increased by 9% to €16.7m last year, as visitor numbers across its attractions topped 887,000.

Shannon Heritage has spent €5m on its visitor attractions over the past five years.

It confirmed it has been successful in gaining grant aid from Fáilte Ireland for the development phase at Bunratty, with implementation subject to further grant aid.

The works include new “multimedia” presentations in a number of the park’s buildings and new audio installations; refurbishment or conservation and furnishing; and set dressing of Bunratty House.

The plan will includes new children’s outdoor play areas, signage and interpretation, and more space for cars.

Shannon Heritage said it expects to start work in September next year.

In the Shannon Group’s recently published annual report, group chief executive Matthew Thomas said all Shannon Heritage sites showed growth during 2017 with the exception of GPO Witness History.

That attraction had experienced large demand during the centenary commemoration.

He said at the time that the Shannon Group would invest strongly in the coming years.

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