Croagh man Niall O’Callaghan announced as director of Shannon Heritage

Paul Carty, MD of Guinness Storehouse, outgoing chair Catherine Flanagan, and Ruth Andrew of AVEA, with Niall O’Callaghan, MD of Shannon Heritage, and new chairman of AVEA, at the AVEA National Conference 2019.

The AVEA (Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions) National Conference 2019 was held in Thomond Park recently, where Croagh native Niall O’Callaghan, Managing Director of Shannon Her-itage – Shannon Group’s tourist attraction company – was announced as the new chairman, taking over the role from Paul Carty, Managing Director, Diageo Irish Brand Homes. The theme of the conference was ‘Ireland’s VEA Sector – Vibrant, Evolving and Agile’. Over the two days, delegates heard from key-note speaker James Bailey, Marketing Director, Long-leat House and Safari Park UK, entrepreneur and broadcaster Bobby Kerr, as well as a host of other panellists as the challenges and opportunities facing the sector were discussed and debated. AVEA is an all-island body representing the Visitor Attractions Sector of the Tourism Industry. AVEA represents and provides advocacy for members to Government, tourism agencies, media and the tourism industry. Networking amongst the members is central to the association’s objectives to enable the organisation to provide supports in training, benchmarking and advocacy initiatives to assist our members continually improve the visitor experience. AVEA has over 90 member attractions who employ nearly 4,000 people, and in 2018 welcomed 22.6 million visitors and generated €489 million in revenue, much of which flows into local economies. Mr O’Callaghan, a former Regional Director at IDA Ireland, is well known in local circles and had a distinguished career with West Limerick AC. Shannon Heritage employs 360 staff in peak season with almost 1 million visit-ors annually at 11 locations nationwide, including King John’s Castle in Limerick, Bunratty Castle in Clare, and Malahide Castle in Dublin.