Can renovation of medieval Limerick attract more visitors and rid the city of a tacky image?

A fine example of Norman architecture, King John’s Castle in the heart of the medieval Limerick city is being restored to its former glory and the missing east wing of the castle is to be rebuilt. An audio-visual theatre, two museums, restaurants and craft and coffee shops will also be built on this site. 

The former Geary's Biscuit Factory at Merchants Quay opened its doors as the new city hall and will hold the new city museum. Nearby Saint Mary's Cathedral is also undergoing restoration work. Nicholas Street, once the main street in medieval Limerick is also due to for major development.

Limerick is rebuilding the heart of its city, this is to be the new focus.

Mayor of Limerick Gus O’Driscoll realises this phase of redevelopment has been a long time coming, but other issues, primarily housing, were the authority's priority.

This is a dual cultural and economic project at its root is bring back visitors that have got lost on the tourist trail.

Limerick city is 15 miles from Shannon Airport but fails to attract visitors to stop over in significant numbers. The plan to redevelop Limerick’s medieval quarter is to attract back the tourists and the projection is for 200,000 visitors a year.

This is a dual cultural and economic project at its root is bring back visitors that have got lost on the tourist trail.

Brendan Lynch Shannon Development Company admits they have traditionally invested more in areas in West Clare, Bunratty Castle and the Cliffs of Moher.

We have neglected core areas of our inner cities.

The image of Limerick over the years has not been a good one, the city has often been described as tatty and tacky. The city centre streets are laden with neon signs. Limerick City Architect John Barrett is aware that new standards must be established and with support from heritage groups they are addressing such problems street by street.

A 'Newsround’ report broadcast on 4 March 1990. The reporter is Michael Lally.