The area surrounding Bunratty Castle and Folk Park could be the new site of a “Disney-style” theme park in Ireland. Meetings have begun between Shannon Development and possible investors about a theme park or other tourist attraction for Co Clare.

The Irish Independent reports that Shannon Development's chief executive Dr. Vincent Cunnane, who recently returned from a trip to the US where he met with potential investors, insisted he felt confident that there will be interest in developing a multi-million euro park in Co Clare.

"We were getting a good bit of traction,” said Dr. Cunnane, “and we are hopeful that something very significant will happen at Bunratty".

He added, "I'm confident that we will receive several expressions of interest."

Several options are being put forth to the potential investors. Such development plans for the 120 acres surrounding Bunratty Castle are a family-themed adventure park, a diaspora visitor centre and genealogy centre, or an outdoor adventure centre.

Dr. Cunnane explained that the potential development "represents a unique opportunity beside an existing tourism attraction visited by 400,000 people per annum, adjacent to Shannon airport and two hours by motorway from Dublin".

Despite being pressed as how they could possibly enter the market at this time, Dr. Cunnane believes there is a strong gap in the market at the moment.

"Whilst the money may not be in Ireland,” said Dr. Cunnane, “There is money elsewhere and the best value can be had at this point in time."


Bunratty Castle: Shannon Development seek to create a tourist attraction near this history tourist attraction