SIPTU Organiser, Rachel Keane, said: “Shannon Heritage which operates the sites had intended closing both Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and King John’s Castle at the end of August. It has now been confirmed that the Shannon Group, which operates Shannon Heritage, will receive €2.6 million in Government funding to keep both sites open until the end of 2020.  

“SIPTU representatives will attempt to ensure that this funding is used primarily to pay the wages of the people working on the sites. Our members also intend to feed into a review announced by the Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, into the future of the Shannon Group.”

SIPTU Shop Steward, Chris Rowley said: “We would like to acknowledge assistance of many elected representatives from across the political spectrum who campaigned alongside us to maintain the operation of these key cultural sites. This campaign has had a success, but we will need to continue it to ensure this government extends its support for these sites beyond 2020.

“At this time, we are also mindful of our work colleagues who did not secure any seasonal work this year and have no certainty of work next year.”

SIPTU Organiser, Sharron Ryan, said: “SIPTU members welcome the temporary reprieve for these iconic sites which follows a successful community campaign which received widespread support. However, the operation of the sites will also need to be protected into 2021.

“We thank everyone who phoned or emailed their TD, who marched with us or who visited the sites to show practical support, we thank you and ask you to continue to support our campaign into 2021.”