WORK has started on restoring the Victorian lamp standards to the Sarsfield Bridge.
Council staff took to the bridge this week to begin the process of installing the new lamps, which have had a €150,000 makeover.
This has seen the standards stripped down to their metal, and repainted in sky blue, with white decorations.
In addition, the copper lanterns have been coated with a protective resin which will protect them from the rigours of the weather.
Former city councillor Sean Griffin said he is “elated” the lamp standards – taken down eight months ago – are back in place.
“I am really pleased. It is a great thing for the city to see these lanterns retained as a feature of what is in my estimation Limerick’s only architectural gem. It is a wonderful structure, but unfortunately people who live in Limerick do not take much notice of it,” he said.
In order to ensure the lamp standards remain clean, and welcoming to tourists, Mr Griffin asked that the City Council team up with the Heritage Council to ensure its upkeep.
Modelled on the Pont Neuilly in Paris, Sarsfield Bridge was known as Wellesley Bridge when it first opened to the public in 1835.
It was designed by Scottish master engineer Alexander Nimmo.
Mr Griffin said Sarsfield Bridge can rightly take its place proudly as one of “the ultimate in bridges”.
“[The Pont Neuilly] is often described as the ultimate in bridges. So Limerick has something which is very similar, architecturally beautiful, and it is something we should be proud of,” he said, “It should be in a position to look its best.”
The City Council must hold an opening ceremony to mark the restoration of the lights to the bridge, Mr Griffin added.
When the lamps were removed, they were painted in dark blue.
Over the years, they have been painted in other colours, including green and white.