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*The Meehan family from Newmarket-on-Fergus at Bunratty Castle & Folk Park

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is to reopen next Friday (April 30th), Shannon Group have confirmed.

A lifting of restrictions for outdoor heritage sites has led to the planned reopening. The Folk Park will be open four days a week initially for residents of Co. Clare and Limerick people living within 20 kilometres of the popular attraction.

€550,000 in funding from the Department of Transport was allocated to Shannon Heritage to keep Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and King John’s Castle open from September until the end of 2020. Bunratty has been closed since the beginning of this year. No detail on a planned reopening of Craggaunowen has been released by Shannon Group.

Shannon Heritage has been awarded accreditation from Fáilte Ireland for its COVID-19 safety measures. There are a series of measures in place to ensure the health and safety of visitors and staff.

Set on 26 acres of Clare countryside, there is plenty of space for social distancing. The 19th century themed Folk Park features a living village and rural setting as it would have appeared during the time of our ancestors.

Musical entertainment has been put in place and the Folk Park’s animators dressed in 19th century costumes are looking forward to sharing their stories with visitors. Among these will be the village policeman, schoolteacher and doctor.

Meabh and Saoirse, Bunratty’s resident wolfhounds are among the array of animals in the Folk Park. Although the Castle will remain closed, Castle guides will be on hand to give the history of the Castle from its courtyard while Mr O’Regan’s Café will be open for takeaway food and drinks.

All visitors are required to pre book in advance of their visit at bunrattycastle.ie. To ensure proper social distancing, a one-way system has been designed to guide visitors around the Folk Park.

“This year has been incredibly difficult for everyone and we know that people are looking forward to exploring their county. We are delighted to reopen Bunratty Folk Park and look forward to extending a warm welcome to all our visitors. With the Covid safety measures we have in place at Bunratty visitors can be assured of a safe, fun and memorable experience. We are hopeful that following the next easing of restrictions we will be able to reopen our indoor attractions,” Vanessa McTigue of Shannon Heritage commented.

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