Limerick museum breathes new life with garden as railings are removed

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Email:

nick@limerickleader.ie

Limerick museum breathes new life with garden as railings are removed

The railingss being removed at the rear of the Hunt Museum

A BIG step forward in plans to turn the Hunt Museum to face the River Shannon took place earlier this week as the railings on the site were removed.

Staff from United Metal Recycling joined the museum's chairman John Moran and other staff on site to see the barriers taken away.

In the coming months, a new welcoming garden will be designed, with new trees, a large chess board, and potentially a memorial to those people who've lost their lives to Covid-19.

"Since I've become chairman, one of my goals has been to make the Hunt Museum a bit more open. How could we make it more open to the public? It seemed one of the attributes against that message were these railings all the way around these buildings. Splitting up a really lovely garden into two. It's been the ambition of this board to get rid of them. It's great today we have finally got all the peices together. We've people to volunteer to take them away, we have the new garden design and finally in the next couple of months, we can see this building come back as a public space," Mr Moran said.

The old railings will be taken away to United Metal Recycling's premises on the Ballysimon Road, where it will be fully recycled and shipped out of Limerick Docks destined for foundries across Europe.

Mr Moran praised the generosity shown by members of the public to help the museum raise €50,000 for its transformation. Matched funding is also being sought.

"People have been really generous which is so great to see among the Limerick communities supporting the garden in the fundraiser. Thje hope is between now and Christmas we can start the work if we can and use the autumn which is the best time to do up a garden to get this ready."

Transformations are expected on site from mid-October, with the garden potentially being opened by next Easter.

Mr Moran repeated his wish to have a memorial to those who've lost their lives through the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was this which formed the basis of an initial call made to fund cobbles.

"Due to the timing of the project, we felt it was really important to mark what has been going on in Limerick and the way communiteis have come together. So people have funded cobbles to remember front-line workers or those they might have lost. We all thought it was great to go a step forward and think where we'd put a Covid-19 memorial. There's no better place then right here on the river," he added.