*Front Row L-R Niki Alderdice, Director of Building Consultancy of Lambert Smith Hampton; Cllr. Michael Begley, Cathaoirleach of Shannon MD, Clare County Council; and Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council. Back Row: Aldo Andreucetti, General Design, Clare County Council; Deirdre O’Shea, Head of Tourism, Clare County Council; Paul Tuohy, Operations, Bunratty Castle & Folk Park; Donnacha Lynch, Head of Commercial and Shared Services, Clare Tourism DAC; John Moylan, General Design, Clare County Council; Aodhagan Behan, Operations Manager, Shannon Heritage; Susan Murphy, General Manager (Interim), Shannon Heritage; Leonard Cleary, Director of Tourism Development, Clare County Council. Photograph Eamon Ward Photography.

CLARE COUNTY COUNCIL has signed a contract with Lambert Smith Hampton to undertake an in-depth review of the Clare-based assets of Shannon Heritage.

Lambert Smith Hampton are a commercial property consultancy with a network of offices across the UK and Ireland. They will undertake a property condition survey of Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Craggaunowen Bronze Age Park, Knappogue Castle & Gardens, and the retail unit at the Cliffs of Moher Experience which will guide all future investment in maintenance, remedial and conservation works at the sites. The results of the technical audit will be presented to the Local Authority before the end of the year.

Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, commented, “In order to commence our programme of investment in the assets, it is of critical importance that a detailed technical audit be carried out to determine the scale and nature of appropriate repairs and retrofitting measures that may be required. Clare County Council is committed to investing in the future development of these sites for the benefit of the tourism sector and the wider economy, as well as the communities in which they are situated”.

Leonard Cleary, Director of Tourism Development, Clare County Council, said Clare County Council, as the operators of the four sites, has an obligation to meet the heritage, conservation, and education objectives of the Trustees. “It is recognised in the wider community and those operating in the tourism sector across Clare that the Trustees have held the mantle of responsibility for the visitor attractions over a long number of years and in doing so, have given huge service to the State”.

He continued, “Clare County Council looks forward to building a productive working relationship with all stakeholders, including the Trustees of the Gort Museum Trust, Bunratty Castle and the Bunratty Castle Ownership Trust, the Hunt Museum Trust at Craggaunowen and Knappogue Corporation at Knappogue.”

Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Craggaunowen Bronze Age Park, Knappogue Castle & Gardens, and the retail unit at the Cliffs of Moher Experience are managed, developed and promoted by Clare County Council as part of its existing portfolio of signature visitor attractions and sites, namely the Cliffs of Moher Experience, Loop Head Lighthouse, Vandeleur Walled Gardens & Visitor Centre, and the Inis Cealtra Visitor Experience.

Niki Alderdice, Director of Building Consultancy of Lambert Smith Hampton, said, “We are delighted to work with Clare County Council in delivering a detailed technical examination of the four sites, and look forward to delivering a full and comprehensive overview of the general health and infrastructural needs of the buildings and properties in question before the end of 2023”.

Aodhagan Behan, Operations Manager at Shannon Heritage DAC, stated, “Investment is required at Bunratty, Knappogue and Craggaunowen. I am very much looking forward to the outcome of this survey and, subsequently, plans being put in place to remediate the sites for the benefit of those who visit and work there”.

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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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