THE former Dunnes Stores on Sarsfield Street has been proposed by Sinn Fein’s Sean Griffin as a temporary location for the Jim Kemmy Municipal Museum.
The city museum is looking for a new home as Shannon Development begins renovations of King John’s Castle and Castle Lane.
Councillors had thought the former AIB branch on Patrick Street - part of the Opera Centre site - was going to be the museum’s temporary home ahead of a permanent location being agreed. But they were told last week that the cost of fitting out that building for a relatively short period of time were prohibitive. Officials have instead placed some of the collection at City Hall itself, in the Istabraq Hall exhibition area. Istabraq Hall is even smaller than the museum’s former location at Castle Lane, which wasn’t large enough to house the over 50,000 items that make up the collection.
“It is obvious now that there was never any intention by Limerick City Council to relocate the Kemmy Museum to the old AIB building. The elected members were - and not for the first time - sold a pup by the officials and now don’t know how to rectify the situation,” Mr Griffin said this week.
The former councillor said officials should now approach Dunnes Stores to arrange a short-term lease of the vacant building on Sarsfield Street, which is close to the castle, Treaty Stone and the tourist office and has “ample storage space” for the collection.
“Many people raised the fact that this building has its own place in the history of Limerick as it is the site of the former Spillane’s tobacco factory and therefore would be a very appropriate place for the museum,” Mr Griffin suggested.
“I would have no doubt but that Dunne’s would be favourable to this proposal,” he said.