THERE has been a cautious welcome from the local community to news that Limerick’s Patrick Punch’s Hotel is to re-open to students.
An advert appeared on housing web site www.daft.ie offering rooms for rent in the hotel, which closed in 2013.
The block is being managed by Property Management Ireland which looks after students, primarily studying in Mary Immaculate College.
Le-Ann Purcell, who lives in nearby Greenfields, said the areas had become “completely obsolete and run-down looking” since the closure of the hotel, which collapsed into liquidation.
“It went from an area which was gorgeous. Punch’s was a lovely amenity for the community, with the hotel, bar and garage. O’Connell Avenue is beautiful, Ballinacurra Road is beautiful, yet there is this terrible eyesore in the middle,” she explained.
However, the local resident expressed concern about how the building will be managed once the third level students move in.
“It depends how it is managed, and what the contracts are for the upkeep of the apartments. You’d hope it was well-run, maintained and well-managed. You wouldn’t mind having the likes [of students] around the place.”
Jerry O’Connell, of the South City Residents Association, welcomed the prospect of students potentially spending money in the area.
“Absolutely. That’s the name of the game. Anything that moves an area up is good with me. Why not give people a chance,” he said.
“It was the main route into Limerick, although this does not apply any more. But it is an eyesore, and if they can clean it up, why not?” he added.