Limerick city backpacker plans back on the table as nightclub owner seeks planning

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

The Milk Market Bar could soon be home to a youth hostel Picture: Adrian Butler

The Milk Market Bar could soon be home to a youth hostel Picture: Adrian Butler

HIGH-profile nightclub owner Flan Costello is seeking permission to transform the upper floors in his new Milk Market bar into a backpackers hostel.

Mr Costello, is seeking an extension to a planning permission he received in 2013 to build budget accommodation on the upper floors of the former Molyneux’s pub in Mungret Street.

In that time, that outlet has returned to use as a bar, named ‘The Milk Market Bar’.

Now, it’s hoped plans will be reactivated to build a first -floor smoking area, a second floor extension, with the conversion of both floors to youth hostel accommodation.

Mr Costello also owns a bar and popular nightspot on Dominic Street,

Limerick remains the only major city in Ireland without youth hostel accommodation.

Sinn Fein councillor Séighin Ó Ceallaigh welcomed the development.

“We definitely need a youth hostel. It’s a huge market that Limerick simply has not tapped into. There are youth hostels in the middle of Kerry, in the middle of nowhere along the Wild Atlantic Way. But Limerick city doesn’t have one,” he said.

Statistics released this week reveal average hotel room prices in this region have also exceeded €100 – something Cllr Ó Ceallaigh says makes the need for a youth hostel event stronger.

“Not everyone has the budget to stay in hotels, so obviously a hostel would be a big improvement,” he said.

If the development goes ahead, it would mean Limerick would have its own youth hostel for the first time since 2003 when An Oige in Pery Square shut.

In 2009, Hirar Properties secured planning permission to develop a four-floor 85-beed backpacker hostel in Cecil Street, at the former Globe nightclub.

But due to the economic downturn, these plans never saw the light of day.

Molyneux’s Pub closed in mid-2010 at the height of the recession.

It’s anticipated that Limerick Council will decide on the proposals on or before Wednesday, October 10.