Fire Destroys Historic Sailor’s Home in Limerick
A devastating fire broke out in the early hours of this morning, completely destroying the Sailor’s Home on O’Curry Street in Limerick. The fire was reported at approximately 1am and both the Gardaí and fire services quickly responded to the scene. Thankfully, no injuries have been reported. An examination of the scene is set to take place later today as investigations into the cause of the fire continue.
The Sailor’s Home, owned by the Shannon Foynes Port Company, suffered extensive damage in the blaze. In a statement, the company expressed deep regret over the incident, acknowledging the building’s rich architectural heritage and its significant role in Limerick’s maritime history. The priority now is to ensure the safety of the building and assess the extent of the damage. The company also expressed gratitude to the fire services and An Garda Síochána for their swift response and efforts in controlling the fire.
The Sailor’s Home, a detached five-bay two-storey stucco enriched sailor’s house, was built in 1858. Over the years, it served various purposes including a military barracks, a constabulary barracks, and a Garda station. The building held immense historical and cultural value, making the loss even more heartbreaking for the community.
Former Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Daniel Butler, expressed his sorrow over the incident on Twitter, describing the Sailor’s Home as a wonderful building with a rich history. He highlighted the building’s recent exhibitions and its inspiration for the Sailors’ Home whiskey. The loss of such a significant piece of Limerick’s built heritage is truly devastating.
Historian and lecturer at Mary Immaculate College, Dr Paul O’Brien, shared a video of the fire on social media, expressing his shock and devastation. The video captured the intensity of the blaze, with the Sailor’s Home engulfed in flames. The building, with its deep historical and social significance, has been reduced to ashes.
Multiple fire brigades, including Limerick City Fire and Rescue Service, Cappamore Fire Service, and Rathkeale Fire Service, were present at the scene, working tirelessly to extinguish the fire. Their efforts were commendable, but unfortunately, the damage was already extensive.
David O’Brien, CEO of Limerick Civic Trust, also expressed sadness over the tragic fire. The Limerick Civic Trust had long been involved in efforts to restore and utilize the Sailor’s Home. O’Brien expressed the Trust’s willingness to collaborate with all parties involved, including the Shannon Foynes Port Authority, in order to restore the site to its former glory.
In addition to the investigation into the cause of the fire, Gardaí are also looking into a car fire that occurred nearby overnight to determine if there is any connection between the two incidents. The investigation is ongoing, and further updates will be provided as they become available.