The Park Canal was built in the late 18th Century to help transport goods to and from from Limerick City. Most of these goods would be heavy loads such as potatoes, coal, turf and barrels of Guinness and the trip to Dublin, via the Grand Canal would take roughly four days.
However, by the 1930s, the canal became less popular due to improved transport routes in general and the construction of an electricity generating station at Ardnacrusha. Sadly, Park Canal was left unused and gradually it fell into decline.
Despite efforts down the years by bodies such as the Limerick Civic Trust and the Canal Restoration Association to develop the canal, there were only small improvements made.
However, the Riverside City project plans to make the Park Canal as important to the city as it was in the 19th Century. It is doing this by connecting the old part of the city with the University of Limerick.
The first phase of this restoration project will be to open up the banks of the canal to the public. This will lead to more use of the canal as public walkways and cycle routes are developed.
Once people start using the canal it is hoped that services like cafés, craft shops and public parks will be provided to cater for this new interest from locals and tourists alike. There are also plans to build residential properties along the canal and this should further help to reconnect the canal with the city of Limerick.