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02/08/2021

'A punch in the gut': Dismay as popular Limerick building demolished

'A punch in the gut': Dismay as popular Limerick building demolished

What remains of Curragower House in Clancy's Strand following its demolition over the weekend | PICTURE: PAUL O'BRIEN

THE demolition of a popular building on Limerick's riverside has caused dismay, with the move being described as "a punch in the gut".

Dr Paul O'Brien was speaking after he joined many others over the weekend in watching the landmark complex razed to the ground in order to make way for a new development.

"A very sad day," he tweeted, "Several individuals and groups (all volunteers) did their best over at least four years to save this building, but despite their best efforts including drawing on expert opinion, the powers that be untimely refused to prevent its destruction. The destruction of our built heritage continues apace. Yes, it would have taken a considerable sum to put Curragower House right, but it would have been the right thing to do."

Meanwhile, a prominent city solicitor has called for an investigation into what led the historic Curragower House to be knocked.

Michelle Hayes was speaking amid what she said was “shock, sadness and dismay” as the bulldozers moved in on the former landmark building in Clancy’s Strand.​

The move was controversial, with councillors previously voting to have the complex added to the list of protected structures, which would have spared it from the chop.

However, this ran into trouble, due to the fact a planning application was active.

It will be replaced with one living space, three apartments and a cafe.

An Taisce Limerick has long opposed the ​proposals, with its former chair Ms Hayes writing a lengthy objection to An Bord Pleanala.

In a statement, she said: “​I call on the planning regulator to conduct a full investigation in relation to how the administration and executive of Limerick City and County Council dealt with Curragower House including its refusal to implement the wishes of the Limerick people and of councillors to protect it.”

Council has been contacted for comment.

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