LIMERICK City Museum will be temporarily relocated to an undisclosed city centre location in the first quarter of next year once Shannon Development has commenced works on the redevelopment of King John’s Castle and Castle Lane.
It could remain there for five years while the City Council draws up a strategic plan for a permanent new home for the Jim Kemmy Municipal Museum, director of service Pat Dowling told members of the cultural committee.
And Mr Dowling assured members the transition to a temporary location - which would “not be tucked away or hard to find” - would be “seamless”, save for a few days while the collection was being moved.
Cllrs Kathleen Leddin and Tom Shortt argued that long-term plans for the museum should see it remain in the Nicholas Street area.
City Hall, said Cllr Leddin, should consider buying properties around the site of the medieval fireplace on Nicholas Street to ensure the museum’s new home is where the hearth is. This would serve the dual purpose of preserving a historic monument and having the museum at the centre of the medieval quarter.
“Galway would be screaming their heads off to have something like we have in the heart of our city. We have a cathedral that is 1000 years old, a castle going back 800 or 900 years and historic priories,” she said.
Cllr Shortt agreed that Nicholas Street, as “the original spine of the city”, was part of a logical tourist trail from St Mary’s Cathedral to King John’s.”
“There is very strong feeling in the Nicholas Street area that it will remain there. They want that institution to continue to contribute to the life of the street and it would be a major blow to them were it to be removed,” Cllr Shortt said.
While Mr Dowling said Nicholas Street was “not the historical home” of the City Museum, having only located there in 1999, he assured Cllr Leddin that it would be included as a possible site under a feasibility study.