Architectural Heritage Survey of Limerick launched


The Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Mr John Gormley, T.D. has launched his Department’s  Architectural Heritage Survey of Limerick City and the associated book - An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of Limerick City.

This was the eighteenth survey conducted by the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Speaking in City Hall, the Minister made reference to some highlights in terms of architectural heritage which the City boasts - “There are very fine churches which are a credit to their congregations. The two cathedrals - medieval St Mary’s (the oldest building in the city still in its original use) and the Victorian Gothic Revival (St John’s) - are both buildings of national importance. There is Limerick’s Georgian core, Newtown Pery, a notable example of urban planning and design and an impressive Georgian new town - the elaborately carved doorcases and fanlights, hinting at the importance of the interiors.”

The Minister made reference to some examples in the book of architectural best practice - both in terms of the sensitive adaptation of heritage buildings for new uses and of more modern architecture. He said - “the former corn store at the junction of Shannon Street and Henry Street, has been successfully converted into apartments. The award-winning Shannon Rowing Club, on Sarsfield Bridge, is a superb example of a new building type developed for new functions – in this case for leisure - in the early twentieth century.”

As the surveys are published, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government formally recommends to the planning authority that structures identified as being of regional importance or higher be included in the city or county’s Records of Protected Structures (RPS). The RPS is the record which planning authorities are obliged to maintain under the Planning and Development Act 2000, which confers certain legal protections on such structures. A total of 732 structures in the survey of Limerick City are rated as being of regional or higher importance.

Structures on the RPS can qualify for grant assistance for conservation works and the Minister alluded to this in his address. “In 2008, I have allocated funding of almost €25 million to support built heritage projects throughout the country. This provision represents a record increase of 42% on the amount spent in 2007.

"Funding of €100,000 has been allocated by my Department to Limerick City Council and €257,000 to Limerick County Council this year, to support the conservation of protected structures. These amounts represent a significant increase on the 2007 allocations. I am also pleased to announce here, today, that St. Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick will receive a grant of €250,000 for conservation works under the Significant Places of Public Worship initiative administered by the Heritage Council."

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