SIPTU members are outraged at the prospect that the historic sites operated by Shannon Heritage may close on 1st January 2022, as was implied at an internal webinar for employees yesterday (Thursday, 30th September). SIPTU members have campaigned since March 2020 to ensure that these important heritage sites would not be moth-balled, with the potential loss of hundreds of jobs. SIPTU Organiser, Rachel Keane, said: “Our members welcomed and embraced an announcement in July from the Shannon Group that they would safeguard the strategic importance and cultural significance of the Shannon Heritage company. However, they are increasingly frustrated and despairing that there has been no meaningful engagement despite our repeated requests. The workers should be paramount in this process. The announcement at a webinar yesterday that the sites could potentially close from January to June 2022 was the last straw. Closing down for six months a year will do nothing to enhance or maximise the potential of these strategic heritage sites in the region, protect jobs or sustain communities.”  SIPTU Shop Steward, Caroline O’Sullivan said: “Ireland has been applauded for its handling of the pandemic.  Restrictions are being lifted. The economy and society are starting to reopen, so why are Shannon Heritage sites being closed?  There are visitors taking pictures of these iconic sites outside the walls. What kind of a message is that sending to our tourists?”