Mayors move to save Ormston House

Ormston House on Patrick Street in Limerick City Centre. Photo: Cian Reinhardt
THE THREAT to Ormston House as one of Limerick City’s foremost artistic venues has led to calls for the local authority to purchase the iconic building which is on the market for €500,000.
At a meeting of the local authority this week, both City and County Mayor James Collins and Metropolitan Mayor Daniel Butler said that the building in Patrick Street should be bought and saved for the artistic and cultural good of the city.

Mayor Collins issued a call to Culture Minister Josepha Madigan to help save the centre which has been staging unique cultural events and exhibitions over the past seven years.

“Limerick Council has been very supportive of Ormston House and our funding has helped it operate as a cultural resource centre in the heart of the city since it opened in 2011,” he said.

“All that work is now under threat because the buildings Ormston House operate in are up for sale as part of a package of three buildings: numbers 9, 10, and 11 on Patrick Street. Numbers 9 and 10 operate as an arts and cultural centre supported financially by Limerick Council. However, number 11 houses a commercial business and the owners of all three buildings want to put them up for sale as one package.

“The Council may have to buy all three buildings. That will require significant investment and we will need the financial support of Culture Minister Josepha Madigan to help us save Ormston House,” Mayor Collins explained.

“Troy Studios is the glamorous end of our support for arts and culture in Limerick and it has been a runaway success story, creating jobs and contributing to the local economy, while simultaneously adding to Limerick’s international reputation as a location for all kinds of businesses. We need a similar level of enthusiasm and financial support for projects like Ormston House, which is run on a voluntary basis, but provides just as much grass-roots support to Limerick’s arts and cultural community as headline projects like Troy Studios”.

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During last Monday’s council meeting, Metropolitan Mayor Daniel Butler said: “I would encourage our executive to engage with those who are going to have to leave the building which is up for sale. I want them to explore the option of buying the premises, If we lose this, we lose one of the most successful artistic venues in the city”.

Cllr Butler also wants the council to explore buying the artistic space as a stand-alone entity.