Thursday, 19 January 2023
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
73. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide a comprehensive update on the transfer of Shannon Heritage-run sites in County Clare from the patronage of the Shannon Airport Group to Clare County Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2055/23]
I would like to thank the Deputy for this question.
As the Deputy is aware, the Shannon Airport Group informed the Department in Summer 2020 that it was necessary to consider a comprehensive and radical adjustment to its structure to secure the long-term future of the Shannon Heritage business and its employees.
Further to extensive engagement with the relevant local authorities since early 2021, Shannon Heritage ended its management contracts with An Post and Fingal County Council for sites in Dublin on 31 December 2021 and the transfer of the business and employees took place without issue. King John’s Castle was successfully transferred to Limerick City and County Council on 4 April 2022.
As part of its engagement with the Shannon Airport Group, Clare County Council identified a funding gap for which it sought government assistance to enable it to take over the Clare sites. In response to this, my Department established an inter-departmental working group to consider how the transfer could be supported across Government.
To date, the working group has met four times and has identified a number of ways the transfer could be supported. I can advise the Deputy that my department is continuing to engage with relevant departments across Government and with the Shannon Airport Group, with the aim of facilitating the transfer as soon as possible. I understand that Shannon Airport Group and Clare County Council are also continuing to engage on the matter.
I would like to assure the Deputy that Government recognises the importance of these heritage sites to the mid-west region and believes that the transfer of the Shannon Heritage business and heritage sites will safeguard the interests of Shannon Heritage employees and the long-term viability and success of the business. Government will continue to support the Shannon Airport Group to ensure that the transfer can proceed as planned.