Christina and Ger Doran who will be among the first wave of residents moving into the Lord Edward Street housing scheme in 2018 Pictures: Alan Place
THE first wave of new tenants at the Lord Edward Street development in Limerick city have been shown around their new dwellings.
As the development of social housing at the former Tait clothing factory edges closer to completion, its first residents were given a tour of their new homes by Limerick City and County Council.
A total of 81 units have been built on a brownfield site close to Limerick city centre comprising of 57 units for elderly residents in a mix of one-and-two bedroom apartments.
The remaining 24 are family homes.
Gerard and Christina Doran, who are both in their thirties, were among the first of the new families who were shown around their new homes over the past two days.
“We were nervous coming down, anxious as we didn’t know what to expect but this is amazing, so well laid out, Absolutely amazing, overwhelmed to be honest. It’s modern day living, unbelievable.”
It was an emotional day for the father and mother of one, who had planned to buy their own home.
Gerard said: “We’ve been living in O’Malley Park in Southill for more than 10 years. We had planned to buy a house but I lost my job in the recession so things didn’t work out for us.
“So this is a new start for us, absolutely fantastic, amazing. It’s great to have the opportunity to come down here and look at where we are going to be living. It’s a great Christmas present,” added a smiling Gerard.
Two of the homes facing the street are already being lived in, while the remaining 79 units will be ready to be occupied by council tenants early in the new year. All are eagerly awaiting keys of their new homes.
Mary Kelly will be one of the Doran’s neighbours.
She is moving from Ballinacurra Weston to her new home.
“I’m amazed, ecstatic, I couldn’t be happier. I’m delighted. I’m in my house now for 14 years and on the transfer list for the past seven years,” she said as she stared out the upstairs bedroom window onto the restored Limerick Clothing Factory building, which will now be the area’s community centre.
“I think my new house is amazing, especially for my daughter as she will have her own room. It’s so well done, I couldn’t be happier.”
More than €18m has been spent on the site, which will also contain retail outlets and a community centre, is part of the government's 'Rebuilding Ireland - Action Plan for Housing and Homeless'.
The multi-million development, built by JJ Rhatigan Building Contractors, is also linked to the adjoining primary health care centre.
Carmel Kirby, director of social development with the council added: “Lord Edward Street is one of the main regeneration housing developments around the city and we are delighted with this reaction from the new tenants.
“We want to build and sustain communities and we believe that we will do that in Lord Edward Street.”