THE owners of Dunnes Stores should ‘gift’ a long vacant building on Sarsfield Street to the people of Limerick, a leading local businesswoman has said.
Helen O’Donnell has called on Margaret and Anne Heffernan to allow the development of a “people’s building” at the site, which has lain idle since August 2, 2008 when Dunnes ceased trading by the Sarsfield Bridge.
Attempts by the local authority to engage with the retail giant, which still owns the site, has proven fruitless.
Now, Ms O’Donnell is appealing to the Heffernan’s charitable nature.
Speaking at a book launch in St Mary’s Cathedral, she said: “I would really like Margaret and Anne Heffernan to give that building to the people of Limerick. It will never be what it was in the past. It's an amazing site, and I think the people of Limerick could make an amazing library. There is lots of different things which could be done to it. I think we could have a beautiful people's building on that site.”
Dr James Ring, the chief executive of the Limerick Chamber says while he is supportive of Ms O’Donnell’s call, he cannot see the retailer taking it up.
“I am very disappointed Dunnes is sitting on a key site which could be developed for the city. Whether they want to give it away, or sell it, they are not using it themselves. But it's just a shame it's the waste of a prime site in the city,” he said.