BUSINESS owners in the City Centre are up in arms over grimy stains and the general unkempt look of the pavement on O’Connell Street in advance of the completion of the multi-million revitalisation project.
One disgruntled business owner, who spoke to the Limerick Post, was firmly of the belief that many of the stains on the main thoroughfare are being caused by grease from fast food outlets.
“Customers are sitting out on the plinth or kerb or wherever they can with their takeaways and they are spilling grease and not cleaning up after themselves,” they claimed.
“I have seen staff members try and clean up the mess but never customers. It’s the grease that is causing the stains on the street.”
“It is spilling onto the footpath. I have seen people spilling it.”
Local business owner David Whelan of Whelan Cameras hit out that there was no joined up thinking from Limerick City and County Council and deemed their efforts as “piecemeal”.
Mr Whelan also took the view that there was no proper cleaning schedule in place on O’Connell Street.
“If this road was being done in Medieval or Roman times, it would be long finished already,” he suggested.
Padraic Cleary of Rain Outdoors on O’Connell Street took a different view. He believes the revitalisation project made a dramatic improvement to the city centre and he looks forward to its completion.
According to Fine Gael councillor Dan McSweeney, elected representatives are getting a lot of “slack” from business owners over the grubby look of the street.
“This was supposed to be a transformative project for Limerick City and we are left with lots of issues, lots of questions, and nobody seems to be answering those questions in relation to cleansing,” Cllr McSweeney commented.
“We’re going to see that significant monies will have to be allocated to maintain the main thoroughfare when we could have done something with a much better material that would have been easier to maintain.
“It’s not dirty with litter at the moment, it is dirty with dirt. The stains, by the looks of it, have gone into the pours of the granite and it’s difficult. It’s actually really disappointing because we spent nearly €10m on the the main thoroughfare,” Cllr McSweeney added.
In response, the Council stated: “A maintenance plan for the cleaning of O’Connell Street has been finalised and the process of approving the appointment of additional staff to establish a dedicated cleaning crew for the street is currently in progress. In the interim, a contractor has been requested to do a complete clean of the street as soon as possible.”
According to a Council spokesman, the contractor will begin cleaning O’Connell Street this coming Tuesday (June 6) for two nights.
“He will return the following week to complete the works,” the spokesman concluded.