Limerick councillors have voted to appoint a Night Mayor to oversee the growth of the city’s night time economy.
At a meeting of the City and County Council this week, Social Democrat Councillor, Elisa O’Donovan put forward a motion to appoint a Night Mayor which was passed with full support from the council chamber.
The Night Mayor would have responsibility to develop a strategic plan to boost Limerick’s night time economy – specifically between the hours of 5pm and 5am – to enhance its culture and increase domestic tourism.
Councillor O’ Donovan told Limerick Voice she put forward the motion when she noticed the differences between Limerick and commercial cities:
“After 6pm the city is dead. I live in the city and while we have some great pubs there is a lack of other things to do or events that might be on. I grew up in London and lived in Dublin for a decade and there was something different on every night of the week! This just isn’t the case in Limerick and the council should be doing a lot more to support our night time economy.”
Councillor O’Donovan has also given her support to groups such as “Give us the Night” which she says is “calling for us to develop multi-purpose accessible venues to accommodate both day time and night time cultural and creative activities and strengthen the cultural and creative night time provisions and objectives in our local Development Plan”.
Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan says “some of the most fun and exciting cultural and creative activities can and do happen at night time. Many EU and US cities have started to value and nurture nightlife and creative and cultural activity at night. Whether it’s the appointment of night mayors…social and cultural activity after dark is appreciated and supported in a meaningful way.”
It’s expected the process of appointing a Night Mayor will begin after Christmas, according to Councillor O’Donovan.
“I imagine that following Christmas a meeting will be organised in council for all those with a vested interest in night time economy. From there we will appoint a ‘Night Mayor’ from that group to drive the drafting of a strategy,” she explains.