A group whose aim is to ensure Shannon achieves its “full potential as a living town” has expressed concerned about the uncertainty surrounding the future of Shannon Heritage sites in the areas.
LoveShannon CLG is a group of individuals who are not affiliated with any political party, religious order, or commercial organisation.
The group says its key objective is to help Shannon achieve its full potential as a living town, by collaborating with suitable bodies, lobbying, and questioning the relevant authorities. LoveShannon wishes to express its concerns about the current situation relating to the Shannon Group.
In a statement, the group said: “As widely reported, Ireland’s economy will endure a severe downturn along with our European counterparts, on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic. Reports of job losses and business closures will regrettably become all too regular an occurrence. The two jewels in the Shannon Regions crown; Shannon Airport and Shannon Heritage are also experiencing a massive reduction in business.
Shannon Group are an umbrella group for aviation, property, and tourism in the Region, encompassing the airport, and numerous heritage and tourism sites. Shannon Group are planning closures of Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, and King Johns Castle on August 31st. This decision will rule out any possible revenue during the ‘shoulder season’, in which Shannon Heritage has established a strong, predominantly Irish trade during the Halloween and Christmas periods. Shannon Heritage employs 350 people who will directly be affected by this decision. In addition to those 350 employees, numerous local business and ancillary services that feed in to and supply these sites will be at stake.”
The statement continued: “Love Shannon wishes to make a statement regarding this serious situation, bringing focus to the devastating effect that this decision will have on the Region. The Shannon Heritage sites have huge potential, which even during the recent upturn in the economy were not maximised. Shannon Airport has also failed to reach success in more recent years, which has been widely publicised. Shannon Airport is currently seeking 230 voluntary redundancies. With more than a 70% drop in air traffic, further redundancies are expected to follow, having an even more devastating effect on the Region.
The Shannon Region is well known for its innovation and forward-thinking visionaries who have been the drivers of economic growth for over eight decades. However, in more recent times this vision to be a self-sufficient eco-system outside of Dublin has been missing. Again, this has been widely reported in the media, including the coverage of Project 2040, where the Mid-West was once again overlooked. The time has come to reclaim our strong history of innovation and plan for a sustainable future with vision and wisdom.
Reinvention and creativity are needed now more than ever. The output of which will be the bringing forth of a tangible and sustainable plan for this Region. To that end, having a dynamic, forward-thinking, and effective Board of management in place for the Shannon Group is imperative. This Board should play a pivotal role in forming a newly reinvented vision for the region.
Love Shannon is calling for this to be reviewed and considered by those whose remit includes the staffing of the Board of Management and of the team supporting the aforementioned plans and vision. Jointly these groups of individuals will have a huge influence on the development of plans and activities, which will sustain Shannon Town, Region and the Midwest today, tomorrow and for future generations,” the group said.