Beneath the Limerick city streets there is another city of brick vaults. It’s a hidden, invisible subterranean city that few people have ever seen or even heard of.
Today, as I passed by Upper William Street, I saw roadworks going on. The brick vaults had been demolished and a mixer truck was pouring concrete into them, obliterating them.
I found it sad to see the destruction of these arches that are such an essential part of the city’s Georgian character, even if rarely seen, and can’t help asking if it would have been possible to find a better use for them than filling them with concrete, destroying them forever.
I wonder who made the decision to do this and on what advice that decision was taken? I wonder if the person who ordered this understood the momentous and irreversible nature of what they have chosen to do.
I wonder if that person has any connection with Limerick, any intuitive connection with the city or any grasp of what it means to destroy something like this?
As people used to say when I was growing up, Have they any soul?
I realise that Limerick is only a very small town by European standards, but it also has one of the most intact Georgian fabrics anywhere, and it should be preserved for future generations. Do you think they do things like this today in Rome?
Limerick city has no architect, no conservation officer, no heritage officer and no archaeologist. Therefore, this decision was made by some unaccountable, ill-informed philistine.
That’s the new Ireland for you.