ON October 10, 1981, the City edition of the Limerick Leader saw the start of a series by Conor Keane entitled ‘Down Your Street’, featuring fascinating insights into many city centre streets. Exactly 30 years on, also in the City edition, the Leader will be revisiting those same streets to see how they have changed.
For 11 weeks, reporter Keane visited some of the most interesting and historical streets of our city, in an attempt to give readers a unique insight into these communities and how the locals spent their time. In addition to the words of Keane, who is now a senior journalist at the Irish Examiner, the inclusion of many photographs of the streets and its residents each week played a significant role in the success of the original series also.
My name is Anthony Kilpatrick and three decades on, I am retracing Conor Keane’s footsteps – seeking how the same streets have changed in relation to the people living there, the businesses that have come and gone. Does the community spirit conveyed in 1981 still exist today?
The original photographs have been retrieved from the Leader archives, so readers will be able to see the intriguing changes to these locations when set alongside modern-day pictures.
I have lived in Limerick for 14 years now, and the county and city suburbs have changed considerably over that time. I grew up in both Patrickswell and Castletroy, and was educated at Crescent College Comprehensive before moving onto the University of Limerick, where I am now studying for a PhD.
During this time, I have seen firsthand such things as the evolution of the retail parks and shops we regularly visit, the places to go out at night, and the growing world class sporting facilities we now boast.
The city centre especially has undergone vast changes over the years and in particular since the Limerick of Keane’s series during the early 1980s. The new challenge of maintaining business, along with a prosperous local community amidst such changes and recessionary times in the streets of this series, was one area I was keen to examine further with the locals on my travels.
With a keen interest in exploring the Limerick that was before my arrival here, I started my journey with a visit to Wolfe Tone Street. You can read the first part of the series this week in the Limerick Leader City edition this week.