LIMERICK’s only public golf course will need an investment of almost €500,000 to bring it up to scratch, councillors have been told.
At this week’s metropolitan district meeting in City Hall, councillors were given an update on Rathbane Golf Club, on the city’s southside.
Following a motion from Fianna Fail’s city east councillor Jerry O’Dea, meetings administrator Eugene Griffin said long term, the golf course will require an investment of €400,000.
Anyone looking to tender will be made aware of this by the council. A tendering process is to start next month.
The investment is required to bring equipment like specialist machinery for the maintenance of the grounds, like grass cutters, up to the required standard.
The Limerick Leader last month revealed that Mack Trading had sought to pull out of running the golf course
Mr Griffin confirmed this to councillors, but a last minute agreement saw they would carry on the running on a caretaker basis until the end of the year.
Cllr O’Dea said: “Part of the reason for a lack of interest is the investment that is needed. We have an awful lot of facilities in the city which need long term protection like this.”
Cllr Maria Byrne of Fine Gael said it is important the course remains open.
“I remember in 2000, we were facing the sale of this course. We took a decision it needed to be kept. People across the city use this course. It is very important we do everything to ensure it is kept open. We are investing in the future of the greater Limerick area here,” she told councillors.
Mr Griffin suggested the investment for the course could come from the funding for special projects, drawn General Municipal Allocation that the council agreed that day.
But Fine Gael’s Michael Hourigan said: “The money should come from the overall budget. There is a huge amount of funding needed for refurbishment here. It is a fine course. It is the municipal golf course for the Mid-West region.”
Fianna Fail councillor Kieran O’Hanlon suggested a funding application be made to Sports Minister Michael Ring.
“When he has change left after giving everyone in Mayo a grant, perhaps he can come here,” he told the meeting.
He raised questions over previous information the executive had given out, based on the fact the equipment is deteriorating.