City centre reopens to traffic after accident and fire

O'CONNELL Avenue has been reopened to traffic after a serious accident this Tuesday morning which has left a woman in a critical condition at the MidWestern Regional Hospital.

O'CONNELL Avenue has been reopened to traffic after a serious accident this Tuesday morning which has left a woman in a critical condition at the MidWestern Regional Hospital.

The pedestrian, who is aged in her 40s, is understood to have been crossing the street at the junction of Quin Street and O'Connell Avenue shortly before 6am when she was struck by a car. She is believed to have sustained multiple injuries.

Gardai at Roxboro, who are leading the investigation, are hoping to speak to the male driver of the car, who they said was "quite shaken" by the accident, later in the day. Gardai closed O'Connell Avenue to traffic while the area was sealed off.

Motorists were diverted along Henry Street but this street too was closed off an hour later when a fire broke out at a local business premises. Nobody was injured in the blaze, which the Fire Service was alerted to at around 7.20am. But it has severly damaged the historic workshop at Hodkinson's ecclesiastical decorators, specialists in church restoration and a business that is one of a kind in Ireland.

Gardai at Henry Street are carrying out a forensic analysis this Tuesday morning and owner Randal Hodkinson told the Limerick Leader he believed the blaze may have started outside the building.

The workshop houses a treasure of archives including historic drawings and sketches of ecclesiastical buildings in Limerick and elsewhere going back 150 years. But Mr Hodkinson said the damage to the archives was not as bad as he initially feared. Hodkinsons recently worked on the restoration of the Redemptorists and is currently doing similar wotk at St Joseph's Church on O'Connell Avenue. Mr Hodkinson says it would be business as usual despite the blaze.

The accident and the fire caused severe disruption to commuters going to work this Tuesday morning who already had to contend with icy roads and freezing fog.