Tourism in the Mid-West has been dealt a blow with the news that Bunratty Castle in Co Clare and King John's Castle in Limerick city will reopen for just six weeks, and temporarily close at the end of August for the rest of the year.

Shannon Group said the popular attractions rely heavily on international tourists, and with fewer visitors expected to visit Ireland for the rest of the year, they have made the decision to close the sites at the end of the summer season.

"Bunratty Castle & Folk Park and King John's Castle will open for a 6-week period from July 20. As there may not be any international visitors, these sites will be open to service a limited domestic market and both sites will temporarily close at the end of the summer season on August 31, 2020," a spokesperson for the group said.

Staff who are not returning to work will remain on temporary lay-off and Shannon Heritage is liaising directly with affected staff.

The reopening for 6 weeks will be undertaken in line with Phase 4 of the Government guidelines. "Strict measures are being put in place to ensure the safety of our customers and staff, but with 26 acres at Bunratty Castle & Folk Park to explore, and a vast courtyard at King John's Castle, there will be plenty of opportunity for social distancing."

Shannon Group also operates Shannon Airport. Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, committed to having the group on the Aviation Task Force which he announced in the Dáil last night.