Founder member of Limerick Civic Trust
Denis Leonard who has died aged 62, was a founding member and executive director of the Limerick Civic Trust, in which capacity he oversaw many of the city’s biggest restoration projects. One of the trust’s earliest projects was the restoration of the Jewish burial ground in Castletroy, which helped heal wounds of Limerick’s history and was described by the late Jewish mayor of Cork, Gerald Goldberg, as a “generous act of reconciliation”. Other projects include the Bishop’s Palace on King’s Island and the restored Georgian House at Pery Square. The Bishop’s Palace won the national award for the best old building at the all-Ireland city neighbourhood awards in 2005.
Mayor of Limerick Kevin Kiely this week said the city had lost a man who “dedicated his life to preserving the city’s architectural environment and heritage”. Dr Vincent Cunnane, chief executive of Shannon Development, said: “His work with Limerick Civic Trust in restoring the city’s built environment will be a lasting testimony to his memory.”
Born in Limerick in 1947, Leonard was one of the four children of John and Joan Leonard. He was educated by the Jesuits at Crescent College, after which he worked in banking for about 20 years.