Demolition of old St Clement's in Limerick building is underway

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Demolition of old St Clement's in Limerick building is underway

Demolition work began at the site of the old St Clement’s College building at South Circular Road this week Picture: Adrian Butler

DEMOLITION work began this week at the site of the old St Clement’s College building at South Circular Road.

The works, which will take a number of weeks to complete, are part of a €1.2m redevelopment by the Redemptorists Order of its church and surroundings at Mount St Alphonsus.

The old building was vacated by St Clements College a decade ago after it moved to a new state-of-the art building which is located on another part of the site.

While a small section of the old building has been used in recent years much of it has remained derelict since 2008.

While some have criticised the demolition of the old building which first opened as a day school in 1976 (see letters page), it is understood it was not feasible to refurbish it.

“We explored a number of options before deciding to demolish the old college building but nothing came of our efforts. The building is not fit for purpose,”  said Fr Seamus Enright in January when planning permission for the works was first sought.

Senator Maria Byrne also confirmed the old building does not meet modern fire safety standards and that the cost of renovating it to comply with the standards would have been prohibitive.

“It was a condemned building, there were problems with it in terms of fire safety. It was built prior to the introduction of fire safety regulations and there were a lot of issues with the building,” she said.

The demolition of the old St Clement’s building will allow for the provision of increased car parking facilities as well as landscaped gardens at Mount St Alphonsus.

Having first arrived in Limerick more than 160 years ago, the Redemptorists Order, which is funding the works from its own resources, is one of the few orders that has survived the upheaval in the Catholic Church in recent years.