THE head of art and culture on Limerick City Council has admitted the fact the city museum is in City Hall is “not satisfactory”.
Kieran Lehane was speaking just weeks after the Jim Kemmy Municipal Museum closed its doors in Castle Lane, just off Nicholas Street, and moved into City Hall to allow for the redevelopment of King John’s Castle.
Plans were originally put in place to move the museum to the Opera Centre site, but the cost proved prohibitive.
Labour councillor Tom Shortt said it feels like the museum is at a “temporary halting site” in the Istabraq Hall, in City Hall.
“There are severe limitations in the Istabraq Hall. But finding a new museum is a 10-year project. It needs to be on Nicholas Street, and it should link with the cathedral and the castle. I think the museum has lost out [in this move],” he told councillors.
He said with so many empty sites in the city, a better location could have been found.
Independent councillor Kathleen Leddin suggested a number of alternative locations, including the Red Cross Hall, the Old Crescent Concert Hall, and St Mary’s School Hall.
Cllr Denis McCarthy suggested the new city library - the location of which will be decided upon shortly - could be in Nicholas Street.
Mr Lehane said: “It is not satisfactory. The museum needs to stand on its own two feet. The most important thing is people can access it. We have a breathtaking collection: let’s show it off.”
Museum curator Brian Hodkinson added: “We have a fine collection that deserves to be shown off in a new museum with proper facilities.”
He said the museum needs to be a place where people come to meet. Due to space restrictions, he said, much of their collection is only online presently.