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University of Limerick to carry out further work to strip asbestos from its €8m city centre base


The University of Limerick's city centre campus. Picture by Emilian Craciun

The University of Limerick's city centre campus. Picture by Emilian Craciun

The University of Limerick's city centre campus. Picture by Emilian Craciun

The University of Limerick’s (UL) €8m city centre campus building is to undergo further works so materials containing asbestos can be removed from the site.

The works are part of a plan to bring the full building into use after a section was opened for the first time earlier this year.

Part of the building is used by students, staff, the local council and community groups, but the asbestos materials are in a section that is currently not in use, UL said.

Asbestos was also removed from the site in 2019 shortly after the former Dunnes Stores building was purchased. 

The 1970s building was later mired in controversy after it emerged UL had no record of an independent valuation of the site before acquiring it, raising questions about due diligence.

Documents show the university is to hire contractors to remove more materials containing asbestos following a survey of the site completed last month.

The works will see a “suspended ceiling and associated grid system” designed for the old shop removed, along with mechanical and electrical services located in the ceiling.

“Asbestos insulating board” will be taken out from areas previously used as a staff canteen, offices, corridors and from around a burner unit and boilers.

A “red putty containing asbestos” needs to be removed from old air ducting, while floor tiles and a “bitumen adhesive containing asbestos” will be removed from an old butchers shop area, corridors, an old staff entrance, emergency stairwells and offices.

Meanwhile asbestos was also uncovered in areas around pipework and fixtures for generators, boilers and toilets.

While some of the materials found in the ceilings were considered to pose a “medium risk” according to the survey, most of the materials were rated “very low risk”.

A spokeswoman for the university said the redevelopment of the building, which included the commissioning of an external painted mural, “is a key project for the revitalisation of the city”. A master plan to develop the building further is being worked on with Limerick City and County Council.

“Meanwhile, proposals from the campus community are currently being considered for further interim use of the building while the master planning takes place,” she said.

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