A FORUM needs to be set up to prepare a plan for the upgrade of Caledonian Park, says southside councillor Joe Leddin.
The Labour member has led a campaign to get the southside park upgraded in the same manner as Shelbourne Park.
At last Monday’s area meeting, he was told that there are no current plans to upgrade the park, beside the Hyde Road.
In a written answer, Jason Murphy, of the regeneration office, said the office is working with the soccer clubs, and the elected representatives.
“The Office of Regeneration is acutely aware of the positive benefits and outputs of the clubs using these lands, and the general amenity afforded by these lands to the youth and residents of this area and the regeneration communities in particular,” he said.
But Cllr Leddin wants more action, saying: “Caledonian Park has a long and proud history as a sporting facility on the southside of the city and is often referred to as the ‘Spiritual Home’ of soccer in Limerick. Located in the heart of the city close to the city centre, bus and train station, and across the road from a regeneration area, Caledonian Park has waited long enough for redevelopment works.”
All interested parties must come together now, he said, to discuss how best to redevelop the facility.
“We have seen how other parks such as Shelbourne Park have received significant financial support and investment from the City Council in recent years which has been well received by sporting clubs, community groups, and the general public. It’s now time for the southside which has suffered the loss of several sporting facilities including two swimming pools to receive some much needed attention and investment,” he said.
Councillor Leddin says the setting-up of the forum will allow all stakeholders including soccer clubs and local residents, outline their views as to how Caledonian Park can be redeveloped.
The southside has lost a number of sporting and leisure facilities in recent years.
This includes the St Enda’s Sports Complex, which shut when the government pulled the plug on funding.