Donnacha Hurley: "Things are actually happening now with the Opera development and O’Connell street so we have to make the best of them for all citizens"
What’s your idea of a perfect day, or a perfect weekend, in Limerick?
Wake up early, go for a nice run and maybe the kids will follow on their bikes and keep me motivated. If it’s a Saturday morning we’d head into the market for a coffee from Harpers and a Pancake from Sebastian at Bon Appetite or the famous breakfast bap from Peter in Country Choice. Things can get hectic with work and study so to be able to spend time with my family is really important to me. An afternoon exploring with smiling tired faces at the end of a day is perfect…..that and a nice pint of Guinness and a bit of banter if at all possible!
What’s your first Limerick memory?
Going to the old milk market in the 80’s with my dad really early on a Saturday morning to get the vegetables or a big sack of Kerr’s Pink potatoes. I always remember the bustle of limerick and trying to make sure I didn’t get lost from my dad and there would always be a little treat at the end. It was always an adventure and a tradition I have with my own family to this day.
What’s your favourite part of the county/city and why?
My favourite part of the city is the Milk Market on a Saturday morning. There is great energy and buzz about the place. I love bumping into people we know and the familiarisation of knowing some of the stall holders and seeing if there is anything new, like the brand new Soul Rolls Sushi in their really cool silver bullet .
What about a favourite local walk or view?
Probably all around UL. It’s such a great amenity to have on our doorstep and the upgraded cycle path goes from near the Absolute goes right into UL and it’s a lovely walk/run/cycle. Its like being out in the countryside when your just beside the city.
What do you think gives Limerick its unique identity?
As cliched as it sounds it’s the people, the sport and the geography of our city that gives us our unique identity . All cities have their own distinctive architecture, commerce and attractions & experiences but the true vibe and energy of the city is driven by its people.
Do you have a favourite local restaurant?
Lots of favourites, so to eat through a day its La Cucina in Castletroy for breakfast and the first coffee, the green onion or Kyoto Sushi for lunch and then the Curragower for dinner……and Gusto Italia for a sneaky Gelato somewhere in-between.
How would you describe the people of Limerick?
Resilient and quick witted
How important do you think sport is to Limerick?
Sport is critical to limerick, but not just for the GAA, Rugby, Soccer team or any sport we follow but for what participation in sport can achieve in bringing communities together and allowing all individuals to push themselves to be better, stronger, fitter and happier.
If you could add one amenity to Limerick what would it be?
Physical infrastructure, all around appropriate buildings and public spaces to deliver a vibrant compact city centre experience with transport links that work for all its citizens. Our city centre experience still has a long way to go and things are actually happening now with the Opera development and O’Connell street so we have to make the best of them for all citizens.
What’s the biggest challenge facing the city/county today?
Probably issues around sociopolitics and bureaucracy. Does the right thing always get done, for the right reasons at the right time? There is always to be a challenge in reaching consensus with different stakeholders but it is only but working together that we can achieve progression in all aspects of life for citizens. However on a more practical macro level the continued disproportionate focus on the development of Dublin infrastructure represents a significant bar to balanced progress for the rest of the country, particularly those on the western seaboard.