Redundancy offers confirmed for number of Shannon Heritage workers

Bunratty Castle.

SIPTU representatives have confirmed that they are in negotiations to save a number of jobs currently under threat at some of the most iconic heritage sites in the Mid West.

Following the takeover by Clare County Council of Inis Cealtra, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, Craggaunowen, the Cliffs of Moher Experience, Knappogue, and Vandeleur Walled Gardens, it was announced that catering and retail at all of the sites would be outsourced.

In a statement to the Limerick Post at the time, on behalf of Clare County Council (CCC), which now has responsibility for the Shannon Heritage sites, a spokesman said that “there will be no redundancies arising from the proposed outsourcing of retail, food, and beverage operations within Shannon Heritage DAC”.

The spokesman at the time strongly claimed that “compulsory redundancies are not proposed for Shannon Heritage DAC”.

However, SIPTU has now confirmed that there are genuine fears of job losses and a spokeswoman for the union said the “position is that we want to secure all jobs” in negotiations with the company.

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Informed sources have also confirmed that a number of employees – some in senior management roles with long-standing service – have been offered redundancy or jobs on a different pay/seniority scale and told their roles will be gone next year.

In a statement made in response to further enquiries regarding job losses from the Limerick Post, Shannon Heritage DAC said that “a small number of roles within Shannon Heritage DAC will be impacted by the new business model that has been developed for Shannon Heritage DAC.”

“An appropriate voluntary severance package, outplacement support, and other supports will be provided to each of these affected individuals.

“Discussions with impacted role holders are currently underway as part of the ongoing organisational structure review for the Shannon Heritage DAC. It would be inappropriate to make any further commentary while this process is ongoing,” the spokesman said.

The statement also said “there will be no change to the existing employment terms and conditions of employees who transfer across to a new business operator as part of the proposed outsourcing of food and beverage and retail departments in 2024”.

“In addition, the current pension plan terms will be protected and transfer across with existing benefits.

“The overall expectation is that employment numbers will be maintained by an outsource partner and will grow subject to market conditions and growth expectations.”

“In the period from the transfer of Shannon Heritage sites from the Shannon Airport Group to Clare County Council in May 2023 to the peak tourist season in summer 2024, 40 new positions will have been generated across operations, finance, HR, ICT, administration, and sales and marketing services at Inis Cealtra, Bunratty, Craggaunowen, Cliffs of Moher, Knappogue, and Vandeleur Walled Gardens, and in shared services.”