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May 7, 2009

Limerick changing for the better, building for the future

To hear and read grim news about murder and mayhem in Limerick these days, you might think that the city was lost. After the recent slaying of innocent businessman Roy Collins, the Sunday Tribune asked, in bold capital letters over a two-page spread: “Can anything save Limerick now?” Yes, actually. There are lots of things hopefully pointing the city in a new direction – such as the bold redevelopment of Thomond Park, within shouting distance of Moyross, as a spanking new stadium by architects Murray O’Laoire and structural engineers Michael Punch Partners. It is the ultimate cauldron for Munster Rugby, with two identical stands facing each other across the pitch, their roofs supported by a pair of enormously long steel trusses. The fact that the shape of these stands, each seating 7,500, is reminiscent of a rugby ball cannot be entirely coincidental. The new Thomond Park is the most impressive sports stadium in Ireland after Croke Park. It gives rugby in Limerick a real landmark and the city a justifiable cause for pride – and hope for the future. To be there amidst an ocean of red jerseys for a Munster match is an unforgettable experience.

The Irish Times

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