Arts and culture spaces a priority for Soc Dems mayoral candidate

Social Democrats mayoral candidate Elisa O'Donovan.

SOCIAL Democrats councillor Elisa O’Donovan says that she will prioritise more community and cultural spaces if named Limerick’s first directly-elected mayor (DEM).

The City West representative said that her priorities as DEM are going to be very similar to what they have been in the council.

Hugely passionate about arts and culture, Cllr O’Donovan wants to see more support for Limerick’s creatives countywide.

And with Limerick arts groups finding it difficult to find space to rent in the city, her call has gone out to Limerick City and County Council to retain suitable derelict sites for community use.

“Arts and culture really makes Limerick Limerick,” Cllr O’Donovan declared.

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“I actually moved back here in 2014 during the City of Culture and I do think that is something that made me really passionate about Limerick.

“We’ve got all these derelict sites in the city. I have brought motion after motion that we repurpose these derelict sites for culture and community space – and this is not just in the city, throughout the county.”

Cllr O’Donovan has called on the council on numerous occasions to allocate funding for some of these derelict buildings to looked at for community use.

Last year, she suggested the Sailor’s Home on O’Curry Street, a space often used for exhibitions in the city before it went on fire, be turned into a community arts space.

Emerging Limerick filmmakers and Limerockers Cru were two of the “wonderful creative outlets” she said were in need of a home, before calling for a suitable derelict building in the city to be repurposed for community use.

“My parents live out in the county. I am out in West Limerick quite a lot. There is so many derelict sites out there. We could be repurposing them and using them for community spaces,” she said.

“In the city centre area, 45 per cent of the people living here were born outside of Ireland, similar to myself. They have no place to gather, so we really need those sort of spaces.”