Salute Grand Slam in completing riverside city walk

Limerick’s riverside should be enhanced to draw people to the city, including a feature saluting Ireland’s Grand Slam winners, according to James Nix, the local election candidate on the northside for the Green Party.

Calling for the completion of pedestrian route on Limerick’s waterfront, he said continuous walkway should run from the Shannon Bridge along the quays to Arthur’s Quay Park to King John’s Castle. Highlighting the project as vital to battling the recession, he said riverside walkway will bring residents and visitors alike into the city. We need to complete the work on both sides of the Shannon, he says, creating a unique 20 – 30 minute walk along the riverfront.

This will ensure visitors stay to enjoy our city, strolling at their leisure beside Limerick’s major attractions, rather than just getting on and off a bus at the Treaty stone. But, more importantly, with Irish people set to make fewer trips abroad, we need to look at providing attractive spaces to enjoy in our own city. The work on Clancy and O’Callaghan Strands has shown what can be done. Now we need to complete the job and complete the riverside walk.

Art should feature along the route. One idea which has been put forward is to a have a freeze of one of our winning rugby teams making the vital score to clinch a game. There is room for interactive art by the river. Imagine a freeze of all the Irish players as O’Gara launches the winning drop goal against the Welsh, said James. Players would be positioned in exactly the same position, with the same expressions, as they held the moment O’Gara’s boot struck the ball in the Millennium stadium to secure Ireland’s first grand slam in 61 years. This is the kind of attraction that pays tribute to Limerick’s sporting achievements. It will bring visitors from all over Ireland, redressing the tourism shortfall here, and take advantage of Limerick’s status as Ireland’s sporting capital.

Vital employment will be provided in enhancing the waterfront. Public works need not come at high cost. We can and should find a way that allows public works to be undertaken by construction workers who are also in receipt of unemployment assistance, so that the city can complete the riverside walk at reasonable cost. Such a scheme is already in place in Germany.

Tourism and shopping interests will also be supportive given the spin offs in their sectors, he said. James paid tribute to the work that has already been done on the riverfront, and thanked the people behind www.riverchance.com for highlighting the city’s potential and to artist Joe McNicholas for the idea of freeze-framing a team as it secures the match-winning score.