TAKING STOCK: There are several infrastructural shortages on this side of the County cum City for far too long. They have become more urgently needed because of the passage of time and demographic changes. It is well known that the three local national primary schools and the Gaelscoil are full to capacity and there are many more pupils now seeking accommodation. Places for the coming year are in big demand.. There is an urgent requirement for years for another second level school to be established in the catchment area. There are plans for more houses to be constructed but the pace of these constructions will be much slower than recent times. Nonetheless, new families domiciled here will have children. A public park is long overdue and one could also make a case for a post office and a Garda station although the latter is highly unlikely.. However, with the austerity that prevails throughout the country many if not all of these are unlikely to be seen for a few years yet to come.
NEIGHBOUR-HOOD PARK: On the seventh of July 2008 this correspondent submitted notes to the Limerick Leader newspaper and they read as follows hereunder:
“Almost seven years ago the residents of this district learned that a field had been purchased which would in due course be developed into a public park. Now many will vouch for the fact that big bodies move slowly (unless playing on the Munster rugby team) and the field at the bottom of the Ballinvoher housing development on the Fr. Russell road lain fallow awaiting development.
The notice of the Proposed Development of a Neighbourhood Park at Ballykeefe appeared in this paper last weekend and it is a fairly comprehensive development. The nature and the extent of the proposed development also includes the following: construction of a car park with places for 30 cars construction of a multi-use community building construction of an equipped children’s play area development of a grass pitch. The development of natural habitats including wetlands, wildflower grass areas and woodlands.
The development of ornamental planting areas All the above developments together with the infrastructural developments of walkways, cycle paths, park furniture, fencing and other ancillary works necessary for use by members of the public.
Plans and particulars of the proposed development are available for inspection and purchase at Environment Department, 3rd floor, Limerick County Council, County Hall, Dooradoyle road. They may be seen by members of the public from 9.30 am until 4.30 pm Monday to Friday.
Submissions and observations with regard to the proposed development may be made in writing to the Corporate Project Office, Lower Ground Floor, County Hall, any time up until 4.30 pm on Wednesday, September 3rd.”
On the ninth of June 2009 the note hereunder appeared in the St. Paul’s District notes of the Limerick Leader and they read as follows hereunder.
“With reference to St. Paul’s notes published in last weekend’s edition of the Limerick Leader and specifically with reference to the piece about the notice by the Limerick County Council of the proposed Ballykeefe Neighbourhood Park as published in that paper one must pose the question “Why is the construction of the multi-use community building as proposed in the original proposal by the Council in the public notice last year dropped from the new and current proposal?”
Several members of the outgoing: County Council and many members of the newly elected and in coming County Council have made reference to the Ballykeefe Neighbourhood Park during their recent electioneering campaign. One new member of the elected County Council posed a number of salient questions about the park in his campaign. He asked “shouldn’t it be complete by now? the original plan deemed unsuitable - “why did it take 5 years to decide this?” these are questions that need answers. Recently it was reported that the local authority was revising the layout of the proposed park and this was a number of years after it had sought feedback from residents in the different districts as to what they would like to see in the park. Is the local authority functioning on behalf of the people of the area or is it subject to the designs of the developer? The newly elected members of the Limerick County Council who have received their mandate from the people who have elected them must seek answers to the many questions that arise from this whole affair.”
Next year 2014 there will be local elections in this constituency and a new council will be elected. This will be the third County Council elected body in position who will deal with these problems. The question arises will they be ‘financially shackled’ still and more generations of children will have grown up and perhaps departed these districts without having had the pleasure of having a public park or attend a local school..
It is a long recognised fact that there is no community centre in this part of the county and that such an amenity would be of enormous benefit to the residents of the county bordering the city. An amenity such as this could have many functions as a meeting place for elderly residents to meet, for other nationalities to meet and mingle with native people, for the holding of meetings of many kinds et cetera..
The greatest change in Local Government in the history of the County of Limerick will take place next year. Perhaps it is time that resident associations or bodies on their behalf made their wishes known once more about these on-going critical needs before .they are fait accompli. Bear in mind the trade union mantra ‘the wheel that squeaks the most gets the most grease’.
GAELSCOIL AN RAITHÍN: When this school was first being mooted there was a meeting held in the South Court hotel that was attended by less than twenty parents but their determination and enthusiasm was palpable. It was set-up in 2003 and since then it has gone from strength to strength. At present it is located in pre-fabricated buildings on the side of the Garryowen second pitch. The pupil numbers have increased to two hundred and thirty and there are others seeking places. Consequently, the parents committee is seeking a suitable and permanent premises for the school. In the Southern Environs Plan (LAP) the Limerick County Council has marked out ground for two primary schools one of which will be the Gaelscoil. Unfortunately because of the economic plight of the country and with the Local Authority financially weak it is unlikely that this new school is going to be constructed and ready for some years yet. The Minister for Education has nominated Gaelscoil An Raithín as one of the ten schools to receive funding for the establishment of a new school. This must have been a joyous announcement for the small group of parents who has been working towards this outcome for several years,
EASTER HOLIDAYS: St. Paul’s National school will close at 12.30 pm on Friday, March 22 for Easter holidays and will remain closed until it re-opens on Monday, April 8 at 9.0am.
LIMERICK 2030: The final talk in the series of talks organised and funded by the Limerick County Council and presented in the County Hall, Dooradoyle road will be on Tuesday, March 26. It will be delivered by Gerry Hughes who is a Senior Director in GVA’s Planning and Development and Regeneration Division. He a highly experienced person in re-development projects and has led similar exercises in such places as Liverpool, Belfast, Sheffield, Manchester, Lisburn.
His talk will be on ‘Limerick 2030’ and it will be on the strategy to guide the economic, social and physical renaissance of the city and wider county/city region.
A.A. MEETINGS: The St. Paul’s group of Alcoholics Anonymous meets in the St. Paul’s national school on three evenings of the week at 20.30hours. They come together on each Monday, Thursday and Saturday. If you are having difficulty with your drinking habits you are cordially invited and welcome.
CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY: The series of talks on in Mary Immaculate College each Tuesday evening at 5.0pm is to take a break over the Easter and will not resume again until April 9. The talk will be presented on April 9 by Professor John Hayes.The theme of his talk is ‘Hope beyond reasonable expectation.@.
NEW POPE: Thanks be to God the world has a new Pope who will watch over and guide the Roman Catholic Church for the coming years. This has been an answer to the prayers of the people of God. He is a member of the Society of Jesus ( the Jesuit community) and the Jesuit community living in the St. Paul’s district must be delighted with the choice. Please God he will guide the church and the people of God with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
BLOOD DONATIONS: The visit of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service to the South Court hotel will be on Thursday, March 28. It will be accepting blood donations from 5.0pm until 8.0pm. Blood donations at this time of the year pre-Easter have always been very popular so if you are considering becoming a donor join with the many other donors.
TRÓCAIRE BOXES: As we are approaching the close of the Lenten period the Trócaire boxes or envelopes will be collected after Easter. So the non-government organization, Trócaire is hoping that all supporters will make a special effort to donate for the poorer countries of the world.
SENIOR’S FORUM: A Limerick Senior’s Forum has been established and it meets in the exhibition area of the Civic Offices, Merchants Quay once a month. This body which has been recently formed aims to make its presence known on behalf of all adults over 55 years of age. It proposes to communicate with similar forums throughout the country.
It wishes to hear from other and all adults over 55 years and to learn of the problems and difficulties that they may be experiencing during the present times of austerity. Briefly, it proposes to act as ‘the voice’ of all Seniiors’. The next meeting of the Senior’s Forum will be held at the same venue on April 16 commencing at 11.30am
MUNGRET/ST. PAUL’S CREDIT UION: The Mungret/St. Paul’s Credit Union that has been an advocate for community advancement and promotion has joined with the Citizens Information Board
MPCC Credit Union has invited the Citizens Information Board to visit their Dooradoyle office on the last Wednesday of every month to provide a drop-in clinic and meet with members who wish to avail of their services. The Citizens Information Board provide information, advice and advocacy on a broad range of public and social services
Information and advice is provided on a free, confidential, independent and impartial basis to all.
The service will begin on Wednesday, March 27th when a representative from the Citizens Information Board will be in attendance from 10.30am - 12.30pm in Dooradoyle. The clinic will take place in a private room and operate on a drop-in basis with no appointments necessary.
Having this service on your doorstep is a real benefit of being a member of the credit union and MPCC encourages members to avail of this service if you have any queries or concerns regarding public services or your rights and entitlements.
DOG WASTE: There is a dog waste box mounted on a pole on the Dooradoyle road. It is in a prominent and very obvious position. It has been placed on a pole almost at eye-level so that dog owners will have little difficulty in disposing of dog waste if the case should arise. Walking along the Dooradoyle road most of the times it is obvious that many dog owners use this route to exercise their animal. It is also obvious that many owners do not bring a small bag with them to gather the waste and dispose of it.
Should a dog owner have walked past the waste box provided by the local authority and be further up the long Dooradoyle road there is also a waste box at the Vetinary Clinic.
GREAT LIMERICK RUN: The great Limeerick Run promises to be even greater this year. There are an amount of runners out training day and night. From simple observation it would appear that there are much more females ready to engage in this year’s run. There are many charitable organisations seeking volunteers to participate on their behalf on the run.
As part of the Limerfick Lifelong learning festival the Dooneen Athletic club is inviting all runners and potential runners to join with club members on Thursday March 21 at 6.45pm at the Crescent Comprehensive gym for a run. New runners are welcome. Contact Verena Tarpey on 086/661481.