PLANS were brewing at City Hall this week following the announcement of a new tourist attraction in Nicholas Street.
At the monthly meeting of the Metropolitan District of Limerick City and County Council, councillors agreed to approve the leasing of 24 and 25 Nicholas Street to Treaty City Brewery.
The Limerick-owned company will now open a retail premises and brewery in Nicholas Street.
Treaty City Brewery is proposing to develop a micro-brewery, which it will run in addition to its Ballysimon Road Industrial Estate brewery. They will also offer tours adjacent to King John’s Castle in Limerick’s historic King’s Island, which is expected to enhance the tourism offering in the city’s medieval district.
The historic quarter was once the home of one of the first breweries in the south of Ireland, The City Brewery known as the Newgate Brewery, which was founded in 1739 and situated in Newgate Lane, between the old City Gaol and King John’s Castle.
Following this Monday’s decision, Limerick City and County Council will begin pre-letting works on 24 and 25 Nicholas Street over the coming weeks. This will be followed by the commercial fit-out and installation of brewing equipment for the new brewery.
Sinn Fein councillor for City North, John Costelloe, welcomed the announcement at City Hall this week.
“Nicholas Street has been neglected for many years. This is very welcome news,” he told the council executive.
Fianna Fail councillor James Collins described Treaty City Brewery as “very good operators” and deemed the announcement as “a great opportunity for Limerick”. He also highlighted the need for an arts, crafts and culture hub in Nicholas Street.
“Bunratty have mocked up a medieval quarter, but in Limerick we have the real thing and need to make it more attractive to tourists. We need to make it a bit more authentic,” he added.
Cllr Jerry O’Dea (FF) also believed an art and crafts hub is now needed in Nicholas Street.
“We have our own Medieval Quarter. We need to get proactive on this,” he declared.
Fine Gael councillor Marian Hurley also believed the brewery would be a really good attraction for Nicholas Street.
“This will be an extra attraction to help make that area a tourist Mecca,” she commented.
Fine Gael councillor Daniel Butler hailed the brewery as a “fabulous addition” to the city’s historic area and suggested it be renamed the ‘Dolores O’Riordan Quarter’ in memory of the late Cranberries star.
Director of Services for Social Development, Seamus Hanrahan said significant capital has been invested by the local authority to bring the buildings to letting stage and the brewery will be an anchor tenant for Nicholas Street.
“The vision in 2012 to purchase and stabilise these derelict structures is now coming to fruition with the return of brewing to King’s Island, close to the site of the historic Newgate Brewery,” he said.
“The revitalisation of Nicholas Street is a key element of the new Limerick City and County Council Tourism Strategy and the arrival of Treaty City Brewing is an important element of this work, not just for Nicholas Street, but for the whole of King’s Island and Limerick City. The objective of preserving these structures past to facilitate suitable economic use in the present will work towards creating a vibrant and sustainable street for Limerick.”
Treaty City Brewery owner Stephen Cunneen this week said he was excited about the new development.
“We are looking forward to expanding our business into Nicholas Street, and we will play our part in the rejuvenation of this street that is being driven forward by Limerick City and County Council,” he concluded.
by Alan Jacques