The 20th October 2017 was the day that Limerick changed for me.
I was sitting outside Melt café on Little Catherine Street awaiting a friend. It was a bustling Friday evening in town and we had plans to visit one of the many new bars and restaurants that had sprung up in the last few weeks. I sat and watched as streams of people walked by and for the first time in many years I felt like I was living in an active city. Actually, to place the change that has occurred in Limerick down to one solidarity day does a disservice to what our city has become over the last 12 months. There has been an expectant energy around the place and this seemed to culminate in a December full of hopeful promises to come. It seems apt that New Year’s eve sees the return of fireworks to Limerick as sparkle and spectacle are the only fitting end to a year when Limerick became sexy again.
Yet admist this expectation and prevailing vibrancy that has embraced our cities people, stands an institution that appears to want to drag Limerick back into the bleakest times in our recent history. A time where Limerick was ridiculed and a national stereotype. A time where the ‘values’ of the Catholic Church dominated leaving many excluded, rejected and ostracised. A time where deeply entrenched conservatism was forced upon Limerick’s usually dynamic people by its fading institutions. Continue reading “Stop the press?”