To list everything Maurice Crowe loves about Limerick would take a lifetime, but Maurice claims he fell in love with the city after an absence of 30 years.
“Currently I work here and have in the last 8/9 years become very attached to Limerick in a way I didn’t think was possible.” From laneways, to our use of language and the unique quirky elements of Limerick city, Maurice loves it all. He sees Limerick as a living urban centre, “The difference between Limerick and other Irish cities is that people actually live in the city centre. In Limerick there are people living here, people making their bread and butter here. That’s the nice thing about it. I would safely say it’s my favourite city in Ireland. I think it’s because of Limerick’s ordinariness and to me ordinary is extraordinary in Ireland nowadays where everything has become distorted with the way we live and experience our lives. I like a place that holds on to what it is or who it is and doesn’t try to hide it or change who it is. It is honest.”
It is the everyday reality of a living city that Maurice admires, “My favourite street in Limerick is Parnell Street. I adore it for its edge, for its sometimes shabbiness, for its mixture of businesses of all sorts. I adore the reality of it. I think the Railway Hotel and Railway Station in it are lovely. I like things that are slightly torn and not perfect. I think the architecture here is wonderful. I love the old Georgian houses and streetscapes that are still maintained. I love the very strange houses you see about the place like Mallow Street Hall, or the Livery Yard in Cecil St. I like that Limerick hasn’t been sanitised – thankfully there are no plazas yet. I am not against change but more about cherishing what is there and incorporating it to the present.”
In the spirit of embracing change while cherishing our urban heritage, Maurice delights in the various arts installations popping up around the city.
“I go into the gallery up on Perry Square. They had a fantastic exhibition a few months ago by Irish artists and I had never seen a gallery so packed with various sized paintings but I loved the chaos in it; it was like a wildflower meadow. I love that sort of play. The murals on buildings, the wild garden in Thomas St., the art on the roofs on some on the laneways, and the wonderful river Shannon flowing through the heart of the city.”
For the bid Maurice wishes others to see Limerick as he does, “The key to this whole thing is making the place expressive but also reflective because it gives people, on their daily meanderings around the city, the chance to experience something, someone else’s expression and to reflect on that. I like something that has the ability to change the experience of how people relate to the city. I would like to see a city that is celebrated and recognised for the incredible positive energy that it has.”