A new chapter has begun in the long history of King John’s Castle in Limerick with the transfer of ownership and business operations to Limerick City and County Council.
All business operations and staff at King John’s Castle have transferred from Shannon Heritage to Discover Limerick DAC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Limerick City and County Council, established specifically to operate and develop key tourism attractions in Limerick that will strengthen Limerick as a destination and attract increased visitor numbers.
King John’s Castle is the first attraction to come under the Discover Limerick umbrella.
The 14 staff, who had previously worked in the castle for Shannon Heritage and contributed significantly to its success, have transferred to Discover Limerick with no change to their employment terms and conditions.
King John's Castle will remain open seven days a week, welcoming people from near and far.
Located at the heart of Limerick’s medieval quarter, King John's Castle is the largest tourist attraction in Limerick City. It brings to life more than 800 years of dramatic local history through the art interpretive centre and exhibition showcases which tell the story of the most iconic building in Munster.
With around 100,000 visitors annually, the towers of King John’s Castle provide panoramic views across Limerick City and the River Shannon.
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Daniel Butler said: “This is a wonderful start to a new era for King John’s Castle. I’d like to acknowledge and thank Shannon Heritage for their stewardship of King John’s Castle for the past 30 years. With the Castle back under Limerick control, we are the masters of our own destiny. We have a wonderful attraction here that we all need to support and showcase in whatever way we can.
“And I would encourage all Limerick people to come and visit King Johns’ Castle over the coming months. Great attractions on our doorstep are for locals as well as tourists.”
Dr Pat Daly, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council said: “As the country emerges from a two-year pandemic, tourism recovery is a vital objective for Limerick City and County Council and the wider tourism industry in Limerick. The transition of the castle from Shannon Heritage to Discover Limerick DAC presents an exciting opportunity for Limerick to grow and develop the tourism industry in the city and county.”
Commenting on the transfer Mary Considine, CEO, Shannon Group said: “I would like to wish Limerick City and County Council every success as they take on King John’s Castle, and in particular to thank them for working very closely with us to ensure a seamless transfer. The support of the Departments of Transport and Housing, Local Government & Heritage, along with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, and our close collaboration with the Council ensured a smooth transition for our staff at King John’s Castle, for which we are most grateful.
“The transfer will enable Shannon Group to concentrate our energies on restoring passenger numbers at Shannon Airport, thereby supporting local economic activity and attracting tourists. This, combined with expanding our property portfolio will enable further foreign and indigenous investment in the region. Shannon Group will maintain an important relationship with the visitor attraction by rebuilding vital air services at Shannon to support the return of much needed international tourists to Ireland.
“I would like to thank the staff at King John’s Castle for their tremendous work over the years and wish them every success, in what I am confident will be the start of an exciting new chapter for them.”