Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Home Forums Ireland well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ? Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

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ShaneP
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From LImerick Leader, May 28, 2005 –

20 Years Ago

AN POST STORM BREAKS OVER MAGIC GARDENS

CONTROVERSY raged in Limerick this week as workmen moved in to begin the construction of a £1 million sorting office for An Post at the once famous Roches Hanging Gardens in Henry Street.

An Post have been accused of “sheer vandalism” as they intend knocking down most of the existing building, which they own.

But postmaster Bill Marnane pointed out that they had contacted An Taisce and other interested groups who had no objection to the new office going ahead.

Referring to the plans for the new sorting office on the 800 square foot site, he explained that the existing facade was being kept intact as was the stone spiral staircase and the first archway.

However, Captain Frank Parker, president of Thomond Archaeology Society, told the Limerick Leader that they would like to see what remains of Roches Hanging Gardens preserved in its entirety.

“A substantial part of the original vaulting which supports the terraces is still intact and any scheme for the redevelopment of the property now occupied by the Post Office should provide for the preservation of this vaulting as well as the facade,” he added.

Seamus î Cinneide, the Limerick antiquarian, is this Saturday bringing a group of archaeologists and historians from all over the country on a tour of the city, including Roches Hanging Garden.

Mr î Cinneide said that An Post should be stopped from demolishing any of the building. Such action would be “sheer vandalism”.

Mr î Cinneide said that the gardens were built in 1808 by William Roche, a Limerick banker, to the rear of his residence at 99 George’s Street – now O’Connell Street.

They were on top of a series of arches which varied from 45 feet to 25 feet high. By means of glass houses, heated by ingenious flues, Roche grew exotic fruits like oranges, grapes and pineapples in one of the gardens.

The garden cost Roche £15,000 to build. Their high position afforded him magnificent views of the Shannon and Clare hills.

Although his fellow citizens nicknamed the gardens ‘Roche’s Folly’, Roche was a shrewd businessman.

He profitably sold the vaults underneath the supporting arches to the Revenue Commissioners as a bonded stores for £10,000 and an annual rent of £300.

During the emergency, the Department of Defence, singled out the building as an ideal air raid shelter.

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