MIGRANT Rathkeale residents are being urged to spend more than Christmas at home as their alleged absence for over half the year reduces their contribution to an estimated six per cent of the local spending.
That’s according to the Rathkeale Community Council and Team Rathkeale Business Group who are highlighting how improved occupancy can boost the vibrancy of the town’s consumer economy.
They believe the publication of the proposed Rathkeale Local Area Plan by Limerick City and County Council highlighted both opportunities and concerns about occupancy in the town.
However, they point out, that unlike other towns, migrant families own an estimated 28 per cent of Rathkeale’s houses, and their alleged absence for seven of 12 months reduces their contribution to an estimated six per cent of the local spending.
“We’ve calculated that the local economy can be improved by up to 66 per cent if new houses are occupied year-round by a typical household of about three people,” said Derek Downes, Chairperson of Team Rathkeale.
“As such, we encourage migrant Travellers to spend more than Christmas at home. We are also highlighting the benefits of Rathkeale and offering to work with developers to plan attractive housing.”
Chairperson of the Rathkeale Community Council, Pat Neville hailed the benefits of life in the West Limerick town.
“The recently approved Adare Bypass should shorten drive times to the city, the town has lots of amenities and we have more affordable housing,” Mr Neville added.
The Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) Register of Residential Sale Prices indicates that in 2021 property in Rathkeale was 41 per cent to 67 per cent less expensive than towns nearer to the city on the N21, five per cent to 67 per cent less expensive than its nearby neighbours, and 41 per cent less than all of Limerick County.