Burnt out bar to be hub for Limerick community

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

'Great memorial': Cllr Kieran O'Hanlon pictured outside Brannigan's Bar on Mulgrave Street
THE pub owned by exiled state witness Steve Collins is to be converted into a community hub for the Garryowen area.

THE pub owned by exiled state witness Steve Collins is to be converted into a community hub for the Garryowen area.

Brannigan’s Pub in Mulgrave Street was burnt out in suspicious circumstances while gang leader Wayne Dundon awaited trial for threatening to kill Mr Collins’s adopted son Ryan Lee in 2005.

The pub - bought by the Collins family in 1999 - has been closed since.

But the Garryowen Community Development Project (CDP) is in advanced discussions with City Council to refit the bar and use it as a focal point for its activities.

Local councillor Kieran O’Hanlon and the committee at the CDP expect to be able to spend €500,000 on the transformation.

It will be used to provide services for the elderly, adult education and small businesses. Cllr O’Hanlon said the transformation would be a

“great memorial” for Steve’s son Roy Collins, who was horifically murdered four years ago.

“It is lying in a very sad, derelict state at the moment. I am sure the Collins family would be absolutely delighted to see that premises, which has a very sad history for both the family and the people of Limerick, going to benefit all the community,” he said.

It is hoped to unveil a plaque in Roy Collins’ honour at the bar, Cllr O’Hanlon added.

Steve Collins was forced to quit Ireland last year with his family, feeling they had no option but to leave having lived under the constant threat of attack since the murder.

In order to help them start a new life overseas, the state purchased the bar, and handed it to Limerick City Council.

Michelle Hannon, co-ordinator at the CDP said the community have welcomed their move from small offices in John’s Street.

“Our mission statement is ‘Strengthening and caring for the community’. Our committee is made up of hard working volunteers who have made this happen,” she said.