HOUSING Minister Jan O’Sullivan has criticised constituency rival Willie O’Dea after he described Limerick City as “a shambles”.
In a Dail debate on the Finance Bill, Mr O’Dea said of Limerick: “as far as I can see most retail units in the city centre have closed down. The place is a shambles.”
But Ms O’Sullivan has described the former Defence Minister’s comments as “ignorant” and “ill informed”.
And she says instead of criticising the city, he should get behind the renewal efforts being made.
“Many people, from all political persuasions and none, are working hard to develop and enhance Limerick City centre. This spirit of partnership and innovation is working,” she said, citing the €10m investment in tourism facilities, the new Living Cities scheme, aimed at maintaining historic Georgian buildings.
“Recent research published by Limerick Chamber of Commerce also confirmed that Limerick City is bouncing back with a significant 15% drop in retail vacancies. That report also noted the boost to retail trade resulting from the upgrading of William Street and Sarsfield Street by Limerick City Council,” she argued.
“With Limerick to become Ireland’s first City of Culture in less than 10 months, it is disappointing to hear Willie O’Dea stand up in Dail Eireann and trash the good work that has been achieved.”
She indicated Mr O’Dea is happy to score “a cheap political point” at the expense of the city’s reputation: “As someone who sat in a Cabinet that presided over the economic and social collapse of this country you might expect Deputy O’Dea to show some degree of humility. At the very least there is an onus on Deputy O’Dea to learn the facts about the positive developments in Limerick City before he shoots his mouth off.”