OFFSHORE wind energy, green hydrogen economy, and the transition to a healthier and safer transport network were up for discussion during Green Party leader Eamon Ryan’s visit to Limerick last week.
The Minister for Transport and for the Environment, Climate and Communications spent Thursday and Friday in the Treaty City to engage with local representatives and communities on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the region.
During his stay, the Minister met with people at a public meeting organised by the Limerick branch of the Green Party chaired by Deputy Brian Leddin. The discussion touched on offshore wind energy, green hydrogen economy, transition to a healthier and safer transport network that is based on public transport, and active travel, retrofitting houses, directly elected mayor and concerns about water quality.
He also donned his cycling helmet and joined the parents and children of the Limerick School Cycle Bus on their morning school run, alongside Limerick TD Brian Leddin and local Green Party councillor Saša Novak.
Green Party councillor for Limerick City East, Seán Hartigan, said: “The Minister has a good understanding of the local issues affecting the people of Limerick and I am delighted that he has committed to providing extra funding to the development of Limerick as a counterbalance to Dublin.”
Last Friday, at a special meeting of Limerick City and County Council, Minister Ryan met with the officials and councillors to discuss the Climate Action Plan and its implications for the area.
Green Party councillor for Limerick City North, Saša Novak, remarked: “Being able to speak directly to a Minister is a big change from the usual letters that we send to different departments and wait a long time for any response.”
Following the Council meeting, Minister Ryan visited Moyross, where the community representatives showed him the challenges that the area is facing due to segregation. Local residents expressed the urgency for the improvement of connectivity between Moyross, Caherdavin and TUS.
Minister Ryan then visited TUS and UL and stopped at Annacotty Weir.
Deputy Brian Leddin said he believes there are significant opportunities in Limerick in transport, retrofitting and energy generation.
“€24 million has been announced for improvements to active and sustainable travel infrastructure in Limerick in a very short time. If the Council progress with the projects, this can reduce congestion in the city and improve liveability of city, town and village centres. An €8 billion retrofitting plan has also been announced recently and Limerick will get a great share of this.
“There is also an immense opportunity off the West coast and in the Shannon Estuary to create new jobs and reduce our energy dependency on imported oil and gas by developing offshore wind farms and related green hydrogen economy.”