30 Jan 2018
Irish Wolfhounds are once again roaming the grounds of Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in Co. Clare. Shannon Heritage has acquired two new female wolfhounds and they are already creating a stir with visitors.
“At Shannon Heritage we have a commitment to putting the customer and visitor experience, first. With that in mind, recently we asked our visitors at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park what would they like to see, and the recurring suggestion was to bring back the Wolfhounds! Bunratty Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland, and no 15th century Castle is complete without these iconic and noble dogs. We already have a vast array of animals living in their natural environment on the Park, everything from sheep, goats and pigs, to donkeys and free roaming poultry. The new wolfhounds are already proving really popular with visitors.”
“We are delighted with the positive reaction we are getting from our visitors and indeed our own employees who have really taken the new arrivals to their hearts. We also have plans for more iconic animals to return in the coming months, so watch this space!” concluded Niall O’Callaghan, Managing Director, Shannon Heritage.
To celebrate the new arrivals Shannon Heritage are running a competition on their Facebook page, where the public can suggest names for the two new arrivals to be in with a chance of winning an annual family pass (two adults and two children) to Shannon Heritage attractions. Visit Shannon Heritage on Facebook for more details. The competition will be open for entries until close of business on Monday 12th February when the new names of the two female wolfhounds will be unveiled.
Irish wolfhounds are known for being gentle, friendly and very intelligent, and they inhabited Ireland long before the arrival of Christianity and the written word. Known in Irish as ‘Cu Faoil’ denoting bravery, the Irish wolfhound is the stuff of legends.
Throughout history this tallest of dogs has been a warrior, a hunter, and a companion to nobility. Historically these dogs were used to hunt big game, such as wolf and elk, and they gained a reputation for unequalled valour. The Irish wolfhound even participated in battle, pulling men off horseback to be slain.
They have great size, power and speed, and an adult weighs about 100 pounds. Irish wolfhound adult males can attain the stature of a small pony. Despite their size, these shaggy-coated animals have a peaceful and quiet personality. They are affectionate and love to be with people.
Wolfhounds were regular guests at the Bunratty Castle from the early days of the medieval banquets in the 1960’s. The animals would roam the great hall and dining areas as would have been the custom in medieval times.