*Knappogue Castle. 

CORRESPONDENCE has been issued to the Taoiseach seeking the appointment of a liaison officer to accelerate the transfer of Shannon Heritage sites.

Clare TD, Michael McNamara (IND) has written to An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin (FF) calling for the appointment of a high-level intermediary to bring together government departments and national and local government bodies to ensure that the proposed transfer of Shannon Heritage’s Clare assets to Clare County Council be brought to a conclusion without delay.

Efforts to transfer the sites to the local authority have been ongoing for two years with Deputy McNamara remarking that the deal appears now to be “bogged down in a bureaucratic, Departmental pass-the-potato”.

He stated, “It is disappointing that it has come to this but to protect previous taxpayer investment in the assets, the future of the broader tourism sector in the region and, especially, those who work in Shannon Heritage (many for their entire working lives), the matter needs to proceed to a conclusion”.

According to the Scariff native, “Shannon Airport Group has questions to answer on its treatment of Shannon Heritage assets and staff. The Group comes under the remit of the Department of Transport which, I understand, has referred the matter of funding the transfer to the Department of Local Government and Housing which, in turn, has recently told Clare County Council that it will not meet its funding request of €15m. That sum, which is a very large ask in these increasingly difficult times of so many competing demands, especially housing, may need to be modified”.

“Fáilte Ireland is the State agency tasked with supporting tourism capital investment projects and initiatives by both the public and private sectors. It comes under the remit of yet another department, the Department of Tourism. All of those departments ultimately look to the Department of Public Expenditure for funding. The future of Shannon Heritage has to be secured soon to allow it to start planning for 2023 and beyond without further delay and distraction,” McNamara concluded.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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