Saturday 24 November 2007

Limerick's heritage inventory angers councillor

LIMERICK, one of the oldest cities in Ireland, has no buildings of "international interest", according to an inventory of architectural heritage drawn up by the Department of the Environment.

The majority of the city's 700-plus buildings, earmarked as protected structures, were solely of "regional importance".

Details of the inventory for Limerick city were read out at a meeting of the local Special Policy Committee (SPC) for Economic Development and Planning.

The city's senior planner Dick Tobin said the Environment Minister wrote to the. local authority last April recommending" 732 buildings.

The Treaty of Limerick, he said, was one of the most significant historical events to occur in Ireland and, accordingly, the Treaty Stone on which the treaty was signed shouldn't be excluded.

"I would say St Mary's Cathedral, as one of the oldest still-used Christian church's in Europe, should have been included and the Treaty Stone certainly has to be included - given the signing of the treaty brought an end to the largest war ever fought on Irish soil and it was also an international conflict," he said.
Mr Tobin agreed to take on board Mr Scully's remarks and said his suggestions would be passed on to the new Environment Minister John Gormley. Meanwhile, the Limerick City Centre Strategy 2007 is a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to promote the regeneration of the city's Georgian core, according to the Irish Georgian Society.
Donough Cahill, director of the Irish Georgian Society, said the regeneration of Limerick's Georgian area - Newtown Pery - will require a big vision that aims to form the basis of applications to Government for major funding and other tax incentives.
Town centre management, he told the SPC meeting, could also work to identify and attract public and private investment into Newtown Pery that was geared specifically towards protected structures. The Limerick City-Centre Strategy 2007, meanwhile, is being prepared in response to the National Spatial Strategy, the National Development Plan and the Atlantic Gateways Initiative.

The deadline for submissions on the recently published draft plan is Monday next.

Kathryn Hayes
Irish Examiner

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