Game of Thrones-style Celtic theme park ‘would revive stale Bunratty’

A proposal for a 'Game of Thrones'-style park adjacent to Bunratty Folk Park has been passed by Clare County Council.

A new Game of Thrones-style Celtic adventure park could be built on lands adjacent to the Bunratty Folk Park — in an effort to help revitalise the “stale” tourism amenity.

Clare County Council is to write to the Shannon Group, who operate Bunratty Folk Park, requesting it investigates the possibility of establishing a historic theme park, beside the existing attraction.

The proposal, passed unanimously at this week’s meeting of the county council, envisages a Public Private Partnership scheme being used to develop a new facility, which would be aimed at families and younger people, in particular.

The land earmarked for an adventure park has already been zoned by the council, following proposals in 2011 by the now defunct Shannon Development to construct a theme park on the site.

“This would be a new concept and I think it would attract families from all over the country,” said Cllr Pat McMahon (FF), who proposed the development.

He said the benefits of having a year-round park at Bunratty would be enormous for the whole area.

“We have to be open to this idea. This will not be in competition with the Bunratty experience as it is currently, it will be in addition.

“I think it will be a major draw to help bring people here from the Wild Atlantic Way project.”

The motion was supported by local councillor PJ Ryan (Ind) who said Bunratty Folk Park was “stale” and in need of a boost.

“Most of the stuff at Bunratty Folk Park is basically for adults and we need something for children there. Bunratty Folk Park needs a lift,” he said.

“We have the land there and I don’t see why this would not be followed up on.

“The sooner we get around to doing something on this the better. The folk park had gotten a bit stale. We have an increase in tourists coming through Shannon at the moment and we need something for them,” Mr Ryan said.

Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG), mayor of Ennis, said the development could be marketed as a Celtic Game of Thrones style theme park.

“This is very appropriate with Game of Thrones being so popular at the moment,” he said.

In 2011, Shannon Development met with potential investors interested in developing a Disney-style theme park at the site.

But the outdoor adventure park idea never came to fruition.

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