Award for €6m King John’s Castle in Limerick

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

Castle award: A stunning image of the now award-winning King John's castle by Catherine Walsh, which was contributed to our Limerick and Proud series
THE renovated €5.6m King John’s Castle in Limerick has earned Shannon Heritage an award at the CIE Tours International Awards of Excellence.

THE renovated €5.6m King John’s Castle in Limerick has earned Shannon Heritage an award at the CIE Tours International Awards of Excellence.

The award comes just eighteen months after the Castle opened after a €6m refit. The Shannon Group also picked up an award for Malahide Castle & Gardens, alongside the iconic Limerick structure.

John Ruddle, CEO of Shannon Heritage, said the awards were “fantastic recognition for the company and the unique tourism product we have”.

“We are particularly pleased for King John’s Castle as this award comes just 18 months after it reopened following an ambitious investment of €6m. This investment is clearly paying off by way of increased visitor numbers to Limerick and the excellent feedback we are getting from them. It is giving Limerick city tourism a real boost.”

Meanwhile, the tourist attraction is forming part of a wider strategic review alongside six other attractions in the Shannon region, including Bunratty Castle.

Shannon Airport group plc has appointed Treacy Consulting to examine the workings of Shannon Heritage.

Tourism expert Jim Deegan at the University of Limerick said that “Shannon Heritage has been performing pretty well, but there is scope for improvement on some entities”.

The review follows Shannon Heritage coming under the umbrella of Shannon airport, having previously formed part of the defunct Shannon Development.

Tourism attractions operated by Shannon Heritage last year enjoyed their best year since 2007, when the subsidiary recorded a 12% rise in tourism numbers. Already, Shannon Heritage’s attractions welcome around 380,000 visitors annually.

Other attractions include Knappogue Castle and Walled Garden, and Malahide Castle and Gardens in Dublin.

“The strategic review under way will examine how we can maximise on the upswing in tourism and achieve further growth going forward with what is a unique collection of tourist attractions popular with both domestic and international markets,” said a spokesperson for the Shannon group.