Redemptorists seek to refurbish Limerick monastery

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

THE Redemptorist Community has applied for a multi-million euro redevelopment of its monastery building to provide enhanced accommodation and facilities.

THE Redemptorist Community has applied for a multi-million euro redevelopment of its monastery building to provide enhanced accommodation and facilities.

THE Redemptorist Community has applied for a multi-million euro redevelopment of its monastery building to provide enhanced accommodation and facilities.

The building, a protected structure, which lies beside Mount St Alphonsus Church, is currently empty after the priests and brothers moved into temporary accommodation ahead of the refurbishment.

The refurbishment of the monastery was originally supposed to be part of a much wider plan to provide a major housing development on the South Circular Road.

But these plans have stalled, and Fr Adrian Egan, Redemptorist rector, says they are now pushing ahead with the redevelopment of the monastery.

“Things have changed in the last few years, and we are all very aware in terms of the economic climate. The original plan there a few years ago has stalled. So this is a phased back refurbishment which we are planning on our own basis,” he said.

Although the proposals will see a decrease in accommodation, Fr Adrian Egan, Redemptorist rector, says the facilities in offer will increase greatly if the plan gets the go-ahead.

He said the current facilities there, which include reading rooms, a conference centre, a youth centre, a choir space and a shop, will become “more user friendly for the elderly and those who need more care” following the refurbishment.

“It will be a major refurbishment of the house. It will take a year to accomplish, so there will be construction jobs there for whoever acquires the contract. There will be enhanced facilities for those who live there, but also for Ministry space,” Fr Egan said.

The rector stressed that there will be no changes to the outside of the monastery, which lies to the left of the church, as this is a listed building.

It was hoped the Redemptorist community could move into their newly refurbished monastery by last August. Now they hope that the redevelopment will get under way next year.

“We are determined to go back in there, because it is important we maintain our presence in Limerick as a vibrant home. This is part of our ongoing commitment to being a presence in Limerick. We have refurbished already the church to a very high standard. We have built a brand new secondary school, and the refurbishment of the monastery is the third phase. We are back on track now, and it will be a very positive addition to the life of the city,” Fr Egan said.

Some 25 priests and brothers were housed in the monastery.Limerick City Council is expected to make a ruling on the planning application by the end of April.