The people of Limerick describe how their city and their working lives have changed.
Limerick people offer their views on the city, and the changes which have come with industrialisation and prosperity.
City of beautiful churches and spires,
City of pubs and lowly desires,
City of gossips that tell what they're told
City of youth that just waits to grow old.
Lines describing Limerick written by an anonymous poet offer one view of the city, but workers boarding a bus to the Shannon Industrial Estate are more concerned with getting on with things.
William Gleeson is one citizen who approves of the changes that have come to the city does not see what all the fuss is around conservatism in Limerick,
People live their own way of life here, and that’s that. They don’t interfere with anybody.
The new Shannon Industrial Estate now employs over 4,500 workers, many of them married women. One woman explains how she combines home and work life.
I really enjoy working here. It’s great for the wife to get out of the home, you know.
Local industrial estates, including Shannon, have brought a new prosperity to Limerick, and thousands of new houses have been built in the city in recent years. New housing estates at Southill and Moyross show Limerick Corporation’s efforts to meet the demands of the new economic conditions.
The same effort has not been put into the Corporation’s housing maintenance programme according to one local politician. Independent Limerick City Councillor Michael Crowe says both urgent funding and staff are required,
It would need an absolute miracle to help these people to overcome this long and severe winter which we are facing into.
Changes in the educational landscape in the city have continued apace with industrial developments. Workers’ families need schools, and many new ones such as the Crescent College Comprehensive School in Dooradoyle have been built in the last few years. New youth clubs, associations and activities for young people, such as the Boherbouy Youth Band.
Writer Seán Bourke returned to Limerick from England three years ago. While he was very pleased to see that children no longer walk to school barefoot, he feels that the gap between rich and poor has widened,
It’s a city of great potential, but at the same time it’s a city of great contrasts.
Seán Bourke is not enamoured by Ireland’s love affair with foreign investment, as he believes that multinational companies will move on when Limerick is no longer of use to them,
Our economy is dangling on a lot of strings controlled by places like London, Paris, Bonn, Tokyo and so on.
This episode of ‘Seven Days’ was broadcast on 5 November 1974.