SIPTU representatives have met with Shannon Heritage over its decision not to reopen its’ sites on a fulltime basis, contrary to the Government’s return to work protocol. Rachel Keane, SIPTU Organiser, said, “We are extremely concerned that a radical decision has been taken prematurely by the Shannon Group without exploring all of the options. There is uncertainty in the tourism market at the moment, and it is far from clear what the plans of other companies within the sector are. The Shannon Group appears to have taken a decision to pull out of the domestic tourism sector for 2020, and beyond. “Actual details of how many staff will be affected, in both the short and long term, remain unclear. So does the impact on the organisational structure of the company, which is an integral part of the domestic tourism industry.  We are shocked that such a decision has been taken before there are any clear indications as to the volume of visitors expected, or when the country will fully reopen.” Shinead Moloney, Shop Steward at Bunratty Folk Park, said, “Members are committed to the future development of the Shannon Heritage sites. We are also willing to engage with management in developing alternative programmes for the local market.” Joanna Ozdarska said, “Shannon Heritage is part of the Shannon Group, which is currently seeking a financial support package from the Minister for Finance. However, we understand that this package of measures has not yet been agreed. We would expect Shannon Heritage to be considered as an equal partner within the group. It has an important role to play in rebuilding our tourism sector and this should be an integral part of the overall company strategy to respond to the current crisis. The potential for a very positive role for Shannon Heritage to play in the current crisis should not be underestimated.”