Moves to save landmark Limerick building from demolition

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Sarsfield House

ONE of Limerick City’s most recognisable buildings, which has been described as a monumental eyesore, may yet be saved from demolition if another use can be found for it.

About 1,000 Revenue staff who work in Sarsfield House are due to move out to purpose built new office accommodation, leaving the blocky, utilitarian, 1970s constructed building empty.

Limerick City and County Council is planning to demolish the riverside building on Francis Street and use the land to create an extension of the existing Arthur’s Quay Park.

However, Limerick Green Party TD Brian Leddin, who is a qualified engineer, is suggesting that some aesthetic work could be done on the building and another use found for it.

“Because of the climate crisis, we have to make every effort to reduce carbon emissions. When it comes to the built environment we have to consider the significant carbon cost of replacing buildings.

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“Demolition is therefore becoming an option of last resort, and renovating and re-imagining buildings is increasingly being seen as the better option,” Deputy Leddin told the Limerick Post.

He said that the council are looking at the entire area, including Sarsfield House, Arthur’s Quay shopping centre, the park, the road, and the former Dunnes site, which has now been bought by the University of Limerick.

“The future of Sarsfield House will be decided in this process and I think re-imagining and re-purposing it will be considered. It would be good if the Council launched an international architectural design competition to gather ideas on how that could be done.

“Could it be used for education, housing, retail, cultural or other uses? Can it be transformed into something aesthetically pleasing to the people of Limerick? I am not absolutely opposed to the building being knocked, but such a decision should only be made after very careful and thorough consideration of all relevant factors.”

The Sarsfield House building is owned by the Office of Public Works. Plans to move Revenue staff out of the building go back to 2014 when Limerick’s Michael Noonan was Minister for Finance.

The move is tied in with current ongoing plans to develop the area known as the Opera Site.