More studies needed for social housing in city’s medieval quarter 

Former Limerick City Councillor John Costello at the St Anne's Court site.

LIMERICK City and County Council has stated that it is making allowance for recent archaeological finds in the city’s medieval quarter in developing a feasibility study for social housing in the area.

The council is investigating the possibility  of developing St Anne’s Court, at the junction of Island Road and Athlunkard Street, for affordable and social homes.

It follows the discovery of walls that could date back to the 12th century during site preparation work last year.

At that time, local Sinn Féin councillor John Costelloe, who has since retired from the local authority, said he believed construction workers had uncovered a gateway into the old city.

“I would hope that they preserve it. It is down a few metres, under the grass. So they should expose it and preserve it. It would be great for the area. That is the Medieval Quarter of the city, so it is a no-brainer to preserve it,” he said.

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At this month’s Metropolitan District meeting, councillors were told that there is a focus on the integration of the city wall in the design of the public space.

Senior Engineer Conor Culloo said that there is also a proposal to incorporate the city moat, or fosse, into the scheme as a sustainable green park element.

“The most recent test trenching took place when the 20th century houses were demolished and the site was secured. The city wall extends just below ground level. It is up to 2m wide and there is a height of at least 2m surviving below ground level.

“No testing was carried out in the street at that time but this will be necessary in the preparation of any planning for the site to determine the exact extent of the walls and possible location of the Little Island Gate and to fully integrate them into any design scheme,” Mr Culloo explained.