KING John’s Castle is set to close in three weeks time, creating up to 60 construction jobs over a number of months as part of a €6m redevelopment.
A precise date for its closure has not yet been identified by representatives of Shannon Development, who are in the final stages of consultation regarding one of the contracts.
However, the Jim Kemmy Municipal Museum has now closed in Castle Lane and is being temporarily moved to City Hall until its permanent home becomes available.
It is anticipated that the 13th century castle will then re-open in April in time for the tourist season.
“Everything is on track. It’s a big project in terms of complexity and scale, but this is a huge opportunity for Limerick. We’re very pleased with the design and people have been quietly working behind the scenes on this for a long time,” said Eoghan Prendergast, Shannon Development.
It is intended that after the redevelopment tourist numbers could be doubled to 80,000.
Mr Prendergast said they believe that this “exciting” project will “do Limerick justice” when it re-opens, and added that a number of international tour operators have been made aware of the development. “We’re conscious that the castle should be as much of interest to Limerick people as it will be to someone from San Francisco. Not enough Limerick people have visited the castle, and there’s a huge amount of history literally under our feet that we forget about in the city. It will be of interest to everyone, and not a sterile, arms-length experience, “ he said. Up to 14 jobs will be created in the long-term.