City footbridges that are a pleasure to walk over

first_imgPrint Email Facebook James Ring, Director of Limerick Civic Trust tells Marie Hobbins about the acquisition of two city footbridges for the city.TWO of Limerick city’s bridges that have instant eye appeal and are appropriately decorative in their settings owe a lot to the care and attention of Limerick Civic Trust. The two footbridges are the Sylvester O’Halloran Bridge which connects the Potato Market to the park at the rear of the Hunt Museum and the Guiness Bridge on the Park Canal.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “It is hard to believe that this bridge is standing for 26 years, after being erected in 1986,” says James Ring, Director of Limerick Civic Trust.“The bridge is named after the renowned surgeon, historian and antiquarian, Dr. Sylvester O’Halloran (1728-1807) who lived nearby on Merchant’s Quay.“While it is hard to imagine the river scene of Limerick without this footbridge, in 1986 a lot of arguing took place in the background between Limerick Civic Trust and City Hall regarding the naming of the bridge.“City Hall informed the Civic Trust that it would not be allowed to name the bridge as this was a municipal function, despite its construction being the idea of the Civic Trust but thankfully in the end, two city councillors and historians, the late former mayor, Jim Kemmy and former mayor, Frank Prendergast, agreed to propose the name and secured the required approval.“I would guess it was hard to argue with those two political heavyweights in their day.”Pointing out that the arguments didn’t end there as the colour of the paintwork on the bridge was also an issue, Dr Ring said:“While black and grey were suggested, the architect Hugh Murray argued for blue, “as the bridge was “designed to be seen”“The story goes that once the City Hall building revealed a pink portico, the blue bridge was no longer an issue. Thankfully I wasn’t in charge then – or they would have got a nice luminous one, just to annoy them.”Referring to another footbridge – the Guinness Bridge on the Park Canal, which was opened in 1997, he pointed out:“This bridge is two feet longer than the O’Halloran Bridge at 105 feet.“You have to admit, the idea of this bridge was fantastic – it completely opened up a huge uninterrupted walkway from the University of Limerick to Corbally and beyond.“Whilst I am sure it wasn’t in the minds of the Civic Trust back then, when you consider the amount of world class athletes based in UL you can see the advantage they have of using the bridge as part of their training run.“The marathon runner and elite athlete, Paula Radcliffe nearly knocked me into the river on one of my cycles to UL back in my college days.”James points out that as Guinness sponsored the bridge, it is called after the company.“Also of course Guinness had a long association with the canal but in the opening ceremony, the bridge was dedicated to the memory of the great Limerick historian, Kevin Hannan.“Both bridges were two huge projects carried out by the Civic Trust, which shows the Civic Trust’s way of thinking – we look for practical work projects that, while they may seem small or sometimes may not be regarded as a priority, once they are completed, it’s hard to imagine what it was like without them.”Paying tribute to Limerick City Council for its renovation of the Daniel O’Connell Monument in The Crescent, Dr Ring says:“The water feature is an eye-catching addition which I think looks fantastic, unlike some other sculptures around the city.” Twitter WhatsAppcenter_img Advertisement Linkedin Previous articleRecord entry secured for Thomond SwimNext articleNew legal service for migrants admin NewsLocal NewsCity footbridges that are a pleasure to walk overBy admin – August 27, 2012 924 last_img read more

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