GLORIOUS sunshine greeted the President of Ireland Mary McAleese to Limerick on what was her last formal visit as first citizen to the county.
On a cool, crisp morning, the sun beamed down gleefully – reflecting the mood of the local people – as the president’s convoy of cars breezed into the new Kings Island Creche on St Ita’s Street.
Children from St Mary’s National school lined the lane of the wonderful new facility, armed with a flurry of tricolours to welcome President McAleese, as she arrived for this latest development of the Regeneration scheme.
Local girl Hayley Ryan – who attends the creche – was just one of the lucky people to meet the president, making the St Mary’s Park resident’s third birthday all the more special.
After completing a tour of the new building, President McAleese then addressed a crowd of hundreds of locals, in a speech sprinkled with humour.
“This is Limerick at its absolute best. Looking at this magnificent new creche makes you wish you were three-years-old again!
“It was an idea first conceived 14 years ago and it’s just the nicest creche site ever, overlooking the River Shannon. “I’m delighted that my last job here officially is to invest in the children’s future in Limerick,” said President McAleese.
The new state-of-the-art crèche will cater for 65 children in all - nearly 40 more pre-school places than what was already available at the old centre.