SIPTU Organiser, Rachel Keane, said: “SIPTU activists and organisers met with the management of the Shannon Group, which includes Shannon Heritage, yesterday (Monday, 17th August). At this meeting we made clear the dismay of workers that, without Government support, the two sites will close at the end of August. 

“Management informed us that a request for additional funding was made by Shannon Group CEO, Mary Considine, to the Government to ensure the sites would remain open until June 2021. We were further advised that management had not yet received a response to this request, despite it being only two weeks before the proposed closure date of 31st August.”

SIPTU Sector Organiser, Martin O’Rourke, said: “Our members are deeply saddened that the Government seem to be allowing these sites to close. The future of these sites’ committed workforces, and indeed the rest of the hospitality industry across the country, is now in grave danger. The Government must take swift and decisive action to avert the closure of these sites and the harsh economic impact this would have on the workers directly employed and the wider local communities.” 

SIPTU activist, Chris Rowley, who is employed at St John’s Castle and Bunratty Castle, said: “SIPTU members at the sites are resolute in their determination to preserve our heritage and have vowed to continue to fight to ensure that if Shannon Group cannot maintain these key historical locations that they are placed into the hands of others who will ensure they remain open to the public.”  

He added: “We are now calling on our local Government TDs to step up to the challenge and ensure our heritage sites are protected.”