Ryan Tubridy broadcast his popular RTE morning radio show live from Bunratty Castle and Folk Park on Thursday last to help announce new enhancements at the popular visitor attraction.
A €1 million investment at the site has just been completed resulting in the development of a new retail store, café and admissions building.
Included among the guests during the hour long live show last Thursday were John Ruddle, CEO of Shannon Heritage, who spoke about the history of Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. Darren Smyth, Head of Retail at Shannon Group guided Ryan through the brand new retail store and Mr O’Regan Café, dedicated to the memory of the late Dr Brendan O’Regan, a major influence in the development of the Shannon region.
The store is designed as a 21st century shopping experience that is fun and engaging for both local and tourist customers and supports over 120 Irish suppliers, stocking new and well established popular brands. Both the new café and shop are open to non-visitors to the Park to experience.
Also featured on the programme was Margaret McBride who gave Ryan a rundown on her responsibilities as Bean an Tí for Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, while Councillor Pat Daly spoke about Muhammad Ali’s visit to Ennis back in 2009 along with providing an eye witness account of what it was like to attend the legend’s funeral in Louisville.
The show managed to pack a lot of fun into an hour, with Ryan having fun-filled discussions with some local school children, testing their knowledge on Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and even learning a thing or two himself.
Wrapping up his show Ryan spoke with a few of the wonderful in-costume animators that work at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. On Village Street, a doctor, a school teacher and the village policeman educated Ryan on how they went about their jobs day-to-day in 19th Century Ireland.
All photos by Arthur Ellis.