Limerick TD in 'intensive' discussions to help save Shannon Group from Covid-19 setback

Fintan Walsh

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Fintan Walsh

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fintan.walsh@limerickleader.ie

Limerick TD in 'intensive' discussions to help save Shannon Group from Covid-19 setback

Limerick Green Party TD, Brian Leddin | Picture: Michael Cowhey

OIREACHTAS members, including senior cabinet minister Eamon Ryan, are in crunch talks to ensure the future of Shannon Group and its companies in response to the shock of the pandemic economy. 

This comes a day after tourism body, Shannon Group, announced that it was seeking €6.4m from the Government, in order to keep its two flagship attractions—King John’s Castle, and Bunratty Castle and Folk Park—alive through the winter period. 

But as it stands, the key tourist attractions will shut their doors on September 1, following a huge slump in international tourists. 

Green Party TD, Brian Leddin told the Limerick Leader this Wednesday afternoon that he and a number of Oireachtas members are in "intensive" discussions to see how the Shannon Group can be supported through the Covid-19 crisis. 

This includes input from his party leader, Eamon Ryan, who is ministerially responsible for the Shannon Group, Deputy Leddin said. 

“I’m hopeful that we can get a resolution that will allow workers in the group to retain their jobs."

“The most immediate deadline is the proposed closure of Shannon Heritage properties at the end of August. The staff team have done a fantastic job of pivoting their business to focus on the domestic market in the light of the disappearance of international tourists. But they need more time to find a sustainable future for the business.

"But we also need to find a sustainable future for Shannon Airport as it has seen a dramatic drop-off in flights. What’s important is that we treat each area of the business separately and try and find a sustainable future for employees so they can have certainty," Deputy Leddin said in a statement this week. 

Deputy Leddin acknowledged the work of his Oireachtas colleagues.

“I’ve also been working with all TDs to meet with people affected. The way that representatives from all parties have worked together has been very positive and shows the importance of Shannon Heritage, Shannon Airport and Shannon Properties to the region.”