Historic building to be redeveloped by port company

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

A HISTORIC building which has fallen into a state of disrepair is set to be redeveloped by the Shannon Foynes Port Company at a cost of “many hundreds of thousands of euro”.

A HISTORIC building which has fallen into a state of disrepair is set to be redeveloped by the Shannon Foynes Port Company at a cost of “many hundreds of thousands of euro”.

Work is due to commence this week on the first phase of a refurbishment of the stand-alone building on O’Curry Street, which was formerly used as a Garda station in its varied a 141-year history.

Pat Keating, CEO of Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC), said they hope to restore this “beautiful building” to its former glory, but a firm decision has yet to be made on its future use.

“We have gone out to tender to start the works on the building and a contractor is due on site this week. It will require a extensive refit to both the interior and exterior, and we hope to have it in a state fit for occupation in the first quarter of next year,” said Mr Keating.

“We may use it ourselves, or we may put it on the market to rent. It will certainly enhance the character of the area when it’s complete and be aesthetically pleasing, after many years of not being occupied,” he said.

The Office of Public Works was the occupier of the 4,000 square feet site up until recently. The protected structure was originally built circa 1870 as a home for Limerick sailors and seamen.

The detached building, which is set back from the road, is described in the Record of Protected Structures as a “five bay, two storey stucco enriched former constabulary barracks.”

It is believed that the main staircase leading to the first floor has been severely damaged by rainwater and there is a large hole in the roof, allowing the elements to have a hazardous impact on its architecture. Former Mayor of Limerick, councillor Kevin Kiely, said he made numerous representations to the SFPC during his mayoralty on this issue, and would be delighted to see some renovation. Local historian, Dr Tadhg Moloney, described the building’s condition as “at the point of terminal dilapidation.”