A PUBLIC meeting on plans to upgrade Nicholas Street in line with the €5.7m revamp of nearby King John’s Castle will be held this Tuesday night.
The public consultation, which will be held in the Absolute Hotel on Sir Harry’s Mall, is the product of conditions set out by Limerick City Council in granting planning permission for the castle works.
Traders in Nicholas Street had called during the planning process for the stakeholders - Shannon Development, City Hall, and Limerick Regeneration - to overhaul their historic street.
There are a wide range of topics for the meeting, which have been divided into three sections - social, physical and economic.
Labour councillor Tom Shortt, a resident of Thomondgate, said the meeting presents a real chance to improve both areas and overcome mistakes made in the past.
“I wake up in Thomondgate and look out at the castle, which is a beautiful vista. But you get this sinking feeling when see tourists then walking down Nicholas Street, and walking away with a confused, mixed impression of Limerick,” he said.
In relation to the controversial plans for the castle, he said it’s no longer the case that “Shannon Development are blazing away, looking into their own hearts” in isolation on the plans, and believes a real consultative effort is now being made to take a comprehensive look at this tourist area.
“I think Shannon Development are putting a greater focus on Limerick now. They knew getting the castle right is only half of it. It has become a concerted effort between three bodies and the local community, and that is how it will succeed. Efforts are being made to reverse the decline,” he said.
Failte Ireland have put forth €4.7m for the castle works, which are due to be completed in time for its 800th anniversary, and the remainder has been provided by Shannon Development.
Shannon Development’s Eoghan Prendergast has said the future of Nicholas Street is “inextricably linked” to the project.
St Mary’s Umbrella Group is leading the meeting and it will be facilitated by Hugh Kelly, an architect formerly with Murray O’Laoire.
The meeting will take place this Tuesday, June 21, in the Absolute Hotel, from 7.30pm to 10pm.