Some Limerick city centre parklets are ‘minging’

The parklet on Catherine Street was a major attraction during the Covid pandemic.

SOME of the parklets provided in Limerick City centre during the Covid pandemic are now dirty, overgrown, and not used.

That’s according to Fine Gael councillor Sarah Kiely, who at this week’s meeting of Limerick City and County Council called for a full review of parklets and build-outs be taken. She said that a review could ascertain their necessity and current use.

“The parklets/build-outs were a reactionary measure to assist businesses operating in very difficult circumstances,” Cllr Kiely told the chamber.

“The majority of them are in excellent condition and are being used as intended. They are regularly cleaned and planted with fresh seasonal plants. They add to their surroundings but that isn’t the case, unfortunately, with some of them. They are dirty, overgrown, and not used,” she claimed.

She went on to say that others are used as an extension of the footpath and take away valuable delivery parking.

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“With the absence of a delivery strategy and now with very limited loading bays, some of the parklets should be removed to accommodate deliveries for businesses.

“While we are on the subject, the installation of a two-hour parking bay in Shannon Street is a disaster for small independent businesses in the area. Delivery drivers now have nowhere to pull in.

“In O’Connell Street it’s the same story, that is why the bay in Shannon Street was so necessary. Can I get a commitment that this will be considered?” she asked the executive.

Supporting the motion, Cllr Dan McSweeney (FG) took the view that some of the city parklets are “minging”.

Fianna Fáil councillor Michael Collins told Cllr Kiely that the parklets and build-outs were a huge hit in Newcastle West and well looked after. If anything, he said he would like to see more of them.

“Please stay out of Newcastle West. We are delighted with them, thank you,” added Cllr Tom Ruddle.

Director of Service Vincent Murray said that the council is currently preparing a City Centre Public Realm Strategy.

“This strategy will include a review of the condition of the existing streetscape and will bring forward proposals to enhance our public areas and green spaces. As part of this review, a cross-departmental team has been convened to review all street furniture, including the parklets and build-outs, put in place by the Council as a response to the pandemic.