Call for transparency over sale of Council site

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Mayor Michael Sheahan. Photo: Cian Reinhardt

LIMERICK City councillors have requested that Tait House Community Enterprise furnish them with more details on their plans for the continuing use of 36 Cecil Street in the city centre.

Questions were raised at this Monday’s Metropolitan District meeting about the disposal of the Council-owned site.

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Mayor Michael Sheahan called for more information about Tait House’s plans for the Cecil Street site, which was originally developed as a Quaker Meeting House.

“What are Tait House bringing to the table that other interested parties are not bringing to the table?” Mayor Sheahan asked.

He was informed that 36 Cecil Street is being used as an artist-led, “community” focused facility known as ‘The Gaff’ in the heart of the city. He was also told that there had been a lot of commercial interest in the site, but this was deemed “not suitable” by the local authority.

Cllr Sheahan felt the Theatre Royal would have been better suited site for a cultural centre in the city but was advised that this building is not owned by the council.

“The biggest request for arts groups in Limerick is for space, primarily in the city centre,” Cllr James Collins pointed out.

Fianna Fáil party colleague Kieran O’Hanlon fully supported the proposed disposal of the site to Tait House.

“It will attract supporters from all over the city and county,” he claimed.

Green Party councillor Brian Leddin pointed out that the issue was that councillors were acting “blindly” without all the details.

“It brings an element of uncertainty to the process,” he said.

Fine Gael councillor Sarah Kiely took the same view.

“This is not about any particular group, it is about the process. The process has to be transparent,” she told the council executive.