Silly season in Limerick is nearly over. The days of decamping to Kilkee or Lahinch are coming to an end. Despite the traditional media August ‘lull’, Limerick’s week in review from this week has produced some interesting news in Limerick.
Featuring schadenfreude, Garda drones, blooming roses and Christmas stores, here’s a quick round up of my top 10 stories this week from the world of business, culture and current affairs.
Savoy Hotel set for expansion
On Tuesday, the Limerick Chronicle broke the news that Kirkland Development’s intent to develop an extension to Limerick’s 5* Savoy Hotel on Henry St. If given the go-ahead the project will add a further 35 new bedrooms incorporating an old mill located on the corner of Shannon St and Henry St.
The response to images released by the architects, Healy Partners, have been somewhat mixed. Quite a number of Twitter users expressed their support for the design with some online commentators saying the project will struggle to get through the planning process. That result is for another day.
Trendy Danish retail store to open in city centre
Limerick’s week in review also shows that around the corner from the Savoy, Bedford Row is set to welcome a new retail brand. The Danish homeware and lifestyle brand Sostrene Grene this week announced that they are in the final stages of preparing for their new Limerick store. This will be the company’s sixth store in Ireland.
The news has been widely welcomed with many expressing a love for the Sostrene Grene products. The Limerick reaction certainly bodes well for Sostrene Grene’s future in the city and best of luck to them with the new store.
Elemental Festival set to return
After a short sabbatical, the very popular Elemental Festival has announced they will be returning with another action-packed weekend of cultural events in September. The Elemental team have gained a respect in Limerick for developing a quirky, fun and informative series of events as part of a festival that seems to improve every time it appears.
The festival has also won awards for their brochure design. This year’s brochure appeared across the city this week. With artwork designed by Jacob Stack the brochure is a collector’s piece in itself, whilst also giving a thorough lowdown on everything planned for next month’s festival. If you haven’t picked one up yet you can downline an online version here:
Big Brother Limerick style?
A meeting of the joint policing committee for Limerick this week raised the possibility of drone technology being used in the city as a possible crime deterrent. According to Fintan Walsh of the Limerick Leader, the idea was raised in a question to the committee by the manager of the West End Youth Centre, William Priestly.
Responding to the question, the council’s head of digital strategy Dr Mihai Bilauca said that technology “should be used as long as it is ethical and valuable. It can’t be done just because it can be done”.
Limerick may escape property tax hikes
According to Nick Rabbits, Limerick property prices haven’t seen the level of increase witnessed in other parts of the country meaning Limerick owners may just have a reprieve in 2019.
Leaving Cert results released
It was a week that all of us have to experience at some point. The release of the Leaving Cert results goes hand in hand with news stories of major successes, some disappointment, CAO points systems and the celebrations that follow. Over 2700 students across Limerick received their results on Wednesday with one school in particular celebrating a remarkable achievement.
Donal O’Regan reported that Daniel Long from the Ennis Road, a pupil at Gaelcolaiste Luimni, achieved a maximum score of 625 points with six H1’s and one H2 (don’t ask me where the H’s came from). It was interesting to note there were little or no incidents reported in relation to unsavoury activity in the city as celebrations took place.
Limerick Civic Trust event raises eyebrows
The news that Limerick Civic Trust has secured the services of Kevin Myers as moderator of a upcoming censorship debate in the city received significant media coverage. Following the widely reported firing of Myer’s by the Sunday Times, Prof Emeritus Pat O’Connor, of sociology and social policy at the University of Limerick described Myer’s appearance as a ‘provocative’ and ‘calculated’ attempt to garner publicity.
The story, which was broken by the Limerick Leader was subsequently reported by the Irish Times, the Irish Examiner and a number of online news platforms. Following a surge in direct communications to along with many online comments the Chief Executive of Limerick Civic Trust defended the decision to avail of Myer’s services saying he believes Mr Myers has a right to express his own mind, and stressed that their talks are about “encouraging debate and having opposing views”.
Rose of Tralee no longer thorn in Limerick’s side
After 10 years in the wilderness the Limerick entry to the Rose of Tralee festival is finally in bloom again. Limerick’s Rose for 2017 Kayleigh Maher has successfully overcome to preliminary stages to make it through to the live finals of the festival which will be screened next week.
Maher, a 24 year old teacher from Kilcornan, will be joined at the festival by another up-and-coming Limerick talent in Paul Fitzgerald. Paul is better known as Live95fm’s Street Boy. If Paul’s character is anything to go by we should a little bit more of him into the future.
Northern Ireland’s Limerick envy
I wouldn’t want Limerick to become in any way smug. However, after many years in the doldrums, it is nice, now and again, to gloat about the fact that Schadenfreude is being experienced by others when it comes to some of the recent successes we have seen.
Last week it was Belfast’s turn to bemoan the fact that Limerick’s Troy Studio has won the battle to secure the pilot production of George RR Martin’s 1980 novella Nightfliers.
Linda Stewart and Sean Duffy reporting in the Belfast Telegraph note Belfast’s disappointment saying: “Northern Ireland may have become inextricably linked to George RR Martin through Game Of Thrones – but it’s set to miss out on the next small screen adaptation of his novels as production heads south”.
Have Brown Thomas gone crackers?
In a week where the weather in the city felt wintery Brown Thomas went one step further by opening their dedicated Christmas shop in the middle of August. Why not sure? There’s only 129 days til the final sleep.
Falling for Nile
Finally, it was fantastic to see Limerick-based singer/songwriter finally release his first single. Nile has been on the go in Limerick and elsewhere for a number of years and most notably made an impact on RTE’s The Voice.
He is also no stranger to audiences who follow the world of musical theatre, most recently performing in Limerick Musical Society’s production of Chess.
The new single has been well received with Bobby Green of musician dot ie commenting: “This is just the start for this young man, I can see his star rising into the intergalactic hemisphere. You can’t help but love this song, if he’s not a household name in a few years’ time there’s something seriously wrong…”
You can buy Nile’s debut single for only 99c here on iTunes. Do support.