McNamara slams Government over inaction on Shannon Heritage sites

Clare T.D. Michael McNamara has slammed the Government’s lack of strategic direction for Shannon Heritage.

“Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan tonight (Tuesday, 17 November 2020) said he was attending the Dáil on behalf of Minister Catherine Martin to discuss Shannon Heritage, yet acknowledged Shannon Heritage as part of the Shannon Group fell within the remit of his Department,” explained Deputy McNamara. “However, he failed to offer any strategic direction or even confirm that the Government has given consideration to Shannon Heritage and whether it will remain part of the Shannon Group.”

Deputy McNamara continued, “The only thing that Minister Ryan had to say in the Dáil was that we need to get out of Level 5, which is surely a decision he himself will make as a member of Cabinet.

“The Government urgently needs to clarify when all Shannon Heritage sites (Bunratty Castle, King John’s Castle, Craggaunowen, Dungaire Castle and Knappogue Castle) will open in 2021, and clarify whether Shannon Heritage will remain part of the cash-strapped Shannon Group or if an alternative management structure will be explored.

“It is now 12 months since Craggaunowen, Dungaire and Knappogue last opened their doors to the public. Workers and local tourism businesses that depend on those sites are none the wiser after the Minister’s comments tonight, which is indicative of the lack of priority that this Government affords the Midwest,” concluded Deputy McNamara.