TOBIN Consulting Engineers complete bespoke upgrade project at Bunratty Castle
Ireland’s Western Seaboard boasts many notable amenities and visitor attractions for the substantial numbers of people who descend on the region throughout the key tourism months in Ireland. Nestled at the heart of this micro-economy for tourism is Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. Few locations in the west receive the same level of attention or notoriety as these grounds. The castle shares a healthy and intrinsically symbiotic relationship with the nearby Cliffs of Moher. In effect, one promotes the other. This was key to its early growth as a tourist hot-spot. In more recent years, a progressive and forward thinking Shannon Heritage along with their sister company, Shannon Commercial Properties, have ensured that the caste now has its own identity to shape a lot of its own future.
As part of a continued commitment to both sustain and promote this vital local employment hub, Shannon Heritage, set out to complete a major upgrade of the facilities. TOBIN were appointed to oversee this exciting project. The main work elements included a new retail area covering the previous courtyard between the original retail space and admissions building. This extended retail space and the full refurbishment of the existing retail space will now accommodate the growing visitor numbers. The new café, an extended entrance and the refurbishment of the admissions building for visitors all contribute to a modern and market leading facility for tourists and locals alike.
One of the defining principles under which Shannon Heritage operates, is to achieve a balance between its custodial role and the need to operate in a commercial environment. In light of this, our team at TOBIN had certain sensitivities to take into consideration during the design and construction phases of the works. Our role included the following areas: Employer’s Representative, Civil & Structural, Quantity Surveying and Mechanical & Electrical. Galway based firm, O’Neill-O’Malley, were also part of the design team as the architects for the project while the construction work was completed by local Ennis based contractors, Martins Construction.
TOBIN are extremely proud of the end result in this particular project. It is important to note that the project was delivered within an extremely limited time-frame given its complexity and took considerable effort from our team and indeed our design partners at O’Neill-O’Malley Architects. A special word of mention must be reserved for Brian Carroll (Operations Manager), Tom Mackey (Project Engineer) and Brendan Dooley (Lead QS) who were the key team members from TOBIN throughout this project.
This project will further strengthen opportunities for local employment to develop and indeed flourish in the area. In additional to this, another locally-focused approach has seen the incorporation of an Irish Design Gallery. Group Head of Retail, Darren Smyth, believes that this specific outlet will be instrumental in promoting ‘up-and-coming talented Irish craftspeople’. The entire project recently got the red carpet treatment when RTÉ Radio 1 was on site to broadcast the Ryan Tubridy Show from these impressive new surroundings.
TOBIN Consulting Engineers are looking forward to our continued work with Shannon Heritage and the broader Shannon Group as the region develops further on the back of increased tourist numbers.