Safe new hands at the helm for Clare heritage sites

Stephen Hanley with Pat Dowling, Leonard Cleary, Elaine Hiney Wall and Bunratty Castle and Folk Park entertainers. Photo: Arthur Ellis.

A NEW boss has been appointed to oversee iconic landmarks in the Mid West tourism trade.

Clare County Council has announced the appointment of Stephen Hanley as General Manager of Clare Tourism East, with responsibility for Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, Craggaunowen Bronze Age Park, Knappogue Castle and Gardens, and the Inis Cealtra/Holy Island Experience.

Mr Hanley has extensive experience in the tourism and hospitality sector, having previously held the position of General Manager of The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin and General Manager of the Radisson Blu Hotels in Galway, Limerick, and Cork.

The appointment of Mr Hanley, a graduate of Shannon College of Hotel Management, comes just weeks after Clare County Council and The Shannon Airport Group signed a historic agreement marking the official handover of the Clare assets of Shannon Heritage to the local authority.

“I am honoured to assume the position of general manager of some of Ireland’s best known and most loved heritage attractions,” commented Mr Hanley.

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“County Clare and the wider Mid West region are fortunate to have an abundance of top-tier visitor attractions on their doorstep. Working under the auspices of the local authority, I look forward to exploring new opportunities for further developing the sites and promoting a tourism product that delivers for visitors to the county and the local economy.”

Working with Lambert Smith Hampton, Clare County Council has commenced an in-depth technical review of Bunratty, Craggaunowen, Knappogue, and the retail unit at the Cliffs of Moher Experience, which will guide future investment in maintenance and remedial and conservation works at the sites.