Local people delighted that Limerick's new Abbey Bridge will honour the memory of local fishermen.
Saint Mary’s Brass Band played and Limerick Corporation aldermen were present when the city's newest bridge was opened. The rain and cold weather did not dampen the spirits of the people from the Abbey area of Limerick city. They watched Minister for the Environment Noel Dempsey perform the opening ceremony.
For locals it was an example of people power, as they successfully challenged Limerick Corporation’s decision to name the bridge after the late politician and former Mayor of Limerick Jim Kemmy.
A campaign requested that the bridge be named in memory the local men who fished for salmon and eels in this part of the river Shannon for centuries. In the end, Limerick Corporation agreed.
One local woman expresses how much this means to the community,
We never gave up the fight. We knew we were going to win and we won in the end. It’s just brilliant, it’s so emotional here today.
The £2.3 million bridge is intended to relieve traffic congestion in the city, and provides a direct road link to the historic King’s Island. It is part of almost £9 million being spent on road infrastructure in Limerick city.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 6 December 1999. The reporter is Cathy Halloran.