IT is not often the chief executive of Limerick City and County Council get kudos from local representatives but this week they were feeling much love from the floor of the chamber.
Some might say it was almost like a scene from a Hollywood movie.
The high praise councillors had for the local authority at Monday’s council meeting came when they were asked to consider approving the repurposing of the Troy Studios loan paid by the Limerick Twenty Thirty development agency of €6.5 million for housing capital purposes.
The Council’s Director of Economic Development and Enterprise Vincent Murray reminded council members that Limerick Twenty Thirty purchased the former Dell Factory in Castletroy in 2015 with a loan from the local authority.
“The economic benefit of the first series of Nightflyers is estimated at €122 million and resulted in over 320 jobs. The film studio is now on its second production, called Foundation, and other productions are expected to commence soon,” Mr Murray said.
“In August 2021, Troy Studios, along with its sister operation in Ireland, Ardmore Studios, announced their acquisition by a joint venture of Hackman Capital Partners and Square Mile Capital Management. This partnership owns the world’s largest independent studio and media portfolio.
“Troy Studios exercised their option to purchase out the lease and property assets and Troy completed the purchase from the Council in July 2022. Limerick Twenty Thirty has now paid back Limerick City and County Council the loan amount of €6,484,017.63 million,” he explained.
The Council’s Director of Housing, Caroline Curley, then asked the council members to approve the repurposing of the Troy Studios loan for housing capital purposes.
Fianna Fáil councillor Kieran O’Hanlon proposed the approval of the loan, considering the money well invested.
“There is great credit due as having Troy Studios has been wonderful for Limerick,” Cllr O’Hanlon commented.
Fine Gael councillor John Sheahan seconded the proposal. While former Mayor Daniel Butler (FG) deemed the news as a great testament to all involved.
“You took a huge risk, one that was a very brave decision. The repayment of the loan shows huge foresight and we are now bearing the fruit of it,” Cllr Butler opined.
Fianna Fáil councillor Kevin Sheahan credited the council executive for what he considered its high level of business acumen.
“I have not seen a decision like this out of the council in years. I am very proud of you today,” he confessed.