Councillors approve Limerick museum move plans

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

COUNCILLORS have formally ratified plans to move the city museum into the Opera Centre site.

COUNCILLORS have formally ratified plans to move the city museum into the Opera Centre site.

At the recent council meeting, members were asked to accept plans from the council to move the Jim Kemmy Municipal Museum to the former Allied Irish Bank branch on the junction of Patrick Street and Ellen Street.

Since 1998, the Jim Kemmy Municipal Museum has been in Castle Lane, where the local authority has paid rent to Shannon Development.

But now it will become the first addition to the council-owned Opera Centre site on a temporary basis.

The proposal will see the City Museum located on the ground and first floors, with the archives on the second, third and fourth floors.

Director of service Caroline Curley recommended the move be passed by councillors, with six conditions based around the water supply of the building.

In the report, Ms Curley wrote: “It is considered the proposed development is acceptable on planning grounds and will only serve to enhance this part of Limerick city centre by bringing an empty building back into use, for the enjoyment of city residents, and additionally help enhance tourism.”

Sinn Fein’s Limerick City North Councillor Maurice Quinlivan proposed the motion to move the museum, but he insisted that it be made clear this is on a temporary basis only.

Fine Gael’s City South Councillor Diarmuid Scully seconded the motion.

It is expected work will get underway on the project in the next few months.

The Opera Centre site came under the ownership of Limerick City Council last November. Using funds from the Department of the Environment, they paid €12m to redevelop the Opera Centre site. UL is expected to move its humanities faculty also.