FRESH calls have been made for Limerick’s former tourist office adjacent to Arthurs Quay Park to be purchased and cleaned up, amid growing visitor numbers to the city and county.
Fine Gael Senator Maria Byrne has raised her concerns over the condition of the building, which is often the first sight for the increasing number of people arriving into Limerick by bus.
The centrally located building, which has been empty for more than nine months since Chez Le Fab cafe ceased operating early this year, is currently owed by Shannon Commercial Properties.
Limerick City and County Council are presently in ongoing negotiations with the Shannon Group company in relation to purchasing the former tourist office.
Ahead of this weekend’s highly-anticipated annual Culture Night in Limerick, Senator Byrne has said that quick resolution is needed in order to clean-up the derelict building.
“At the moment it is not a very good first impression for the increasing numbers of visitors availing of bus services to and from the city.
“Many of those are tourists passing through Limerick on their way to various attractions or coming directly from the airport. We are trying to continue to boost tourism in the city yet such a prominent building at the entrance of Arthur’s Quay Park is left in such poor condition,” she said.
According to the Central Statistics Office, Limerick recorded the biggest rate of increase in the number of domestic tourist trips in 2017 – up 73,000 to 284,000 – an annual increase of almost 35%.
A further 647,000 overseas visitors came to Limerick during the same period.
“Trojan work has been done by Limerick City and County Council in upgrading and opening up Arthurs Quay Park which has resulted in a beautiful backdrop for those entering the city by bus.
“But my concerns are that many people’s first impression of Limerick city is the eyesore to the left of the park which has been left idle for several months now.
“This Friday will yet again see large crowds attend Culture Night events in the city and county including a family friendly performance in Arthur’s Quay Park yet many will be greeted with such dereliction at the nearby former tourist office.
“I understand that Limerick City and County Council are still in negotiations with Shannon Commercial Properties in relation to the building but an urgent clean-up is required to help improve long lasting first impressions of our city.
“It is vital that there is a resolution found as soon as possible,” added the Fine Gael General Election candidate.
Contact: Maria Byrne – 061-469590