January 3: Heart of our city needs people to survive

Former junior Minister for health Tim O'Malley makes the point that incentives are needed to make Limerick a living city again
I wish to congratulate everybody associated with the Limerick City of Culture. It was a great success and gave Limerick lots of positive comments during 2014.

I wish to congratulate everybody associated with the Limerick City of Culture. It was a great success and gave Limerick lots of positive comments during 2014.

Recently I have observed in the Limerick Leader that plans are approved for Sarsfield House to be knocked down and moved across to the Opera Centre. In an ideal world this might be a wonderful idea. However, we do not live in an ideal world! I constantly walk around Limerick city and see lots of shops, apartments and premises up for sale or rent. I have also noted over the years, that the footfall of people shopping in around the city centre is declining whilst at the same time the shopping centres in the suburbs are flourishing.What Limerick needs badly are incentives to get more people to live and shop in the city centre. Many of the empty properties in the city could be converted into living accommodation if there were proper incentives for the owners.

I would like to see lots of the properties in the Opera Centre area demolished or converted into living accommodation and free parking for shoppers.

There is very little incentive for people to drive into the city centre and pay for parking when they can do all their shopping in the suburbs with free parking.

I would like to see a cost-benefit analysis of demolition of Sarsfield House and relocating across the street.

The only reason I have written this letter is to stimulate debate about this topic. Limerick is my city and I have lived here all my life. I feel passionate about my city and it annoys me to see the city centre declining

Lots of brilliant things have been accomplished in Limerick. Many of the new buildings and the pedestrianised streets are very attractive. However, the heart of a city need people to survive and I think that new and innovative ideas are required to bring people into the city centre.

How about free Park and Ride facilities from the suburbs into the centre?

Tim O’Malley

Peafield Road, Ballysimon,

Co Limerick