Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?
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In relation to the 6 rowing clubs in Limerick Urban Area, 4 are in the city centre, one is located in UL and one in Castleconell.
Only two city centre clubs are actively as rowing clubs, in reality.
St. Michaels, used to be the poorer cousin of Shannon and Limerick Boat Club, has become one of the best rowing clubs in Ireland in recent years, two-time World Champion Sculler, and Olympian, Sam Lynch rowed out of there. Won the Big Pot last year with 2 members of Shannon in the 8.
Athlunkard, has been rejuvenated after the clubhouse was burned down in the 1990’s, and is steadily re-appearing on the scene, had a top class Junior rower recently, think he is moving on to the senior ranks now. Got Irish honours when he was 16 iirc.
Shannon, more of a social club, hasn’t had a serious crew since the pair in the 1990’s. The pair have since reformed and are rowing in a Shannon/St. Michaels composite. No sign of any new rowers coming through their ranks, but they still have a pretty prestigious name.
Limerick Boat Club. Well, pretty much have fallen apart and will probably be impossible to revive even if this development goes ahead, for the simple reason that demographic shifts mean there is no longer the numbers to support another city centre club. Limerick haven’t had a serious crew since the 1980’s (afaik) and were so badly run back then that they let themselves fall apart. Would take a lot more than a shiny glass building to save it, which is a pity because it used to be a decent club.
UL, not really rated on the national scene, but are serious about becoming a major player. Have made huge investments in clubhouse etc.
Castleconnell, not too sure, were active in the 1990’s but seem to have drifted a bit since.
In short, of all the clubs in Limerick, Limerick Boat Club are in the weakest position. Will take a huge effort to get the club revived. Maybe it can be done, but frankly, I’d rather have a nice city centre and riverfront than support a dwindling club that let itself be run into the ground. If St. Michaels can prosper while LBC collapses, surely it shows that LBC is simply a poorly run club who’s time has run-out. The city should not maintain it just to keep a few former rowers happy. Would love to see Limerick Boat Club provide a list of how many active members it has, and how long it’s been since each of them were either involved in rowing or running the club.
Imo, the way for Limerick to revive itself is not to worry about shiny new buildings but to get involved in bringing new rowers into the club. It let it’s main slip way degenerate to the point where it is seriously unsafe now, it has no under-age crews (and hasn’t had an underage crew in over 5 years (afaik)), it has no senior crews, so exactly how many rowers are left in the club? I know I’m labouring the point, but think it’s bizarre to give such a poorly run club another chance to run itself into the ground.