Dis is Limerick City ...

Tea Party Patriot

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a really depressing programme. i wouldnt stay there with my family tbh.
that 'fat john mccarthy' he was caught recently with heroin if i recall. there must be empty estates in limerick where the council could move the decent families too and get them away from moyross etc....until they can sort it out.
i dont think anywhere here in dublin was ever as bad as them estates.
They have moved some of the so called "decent" families to the villages near the city and it is a disaster. Formerly peaceful hamlets are now crime ridden no go areas.
 


d7bohs

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I don't understand.

How does your above statement not equate with Sinn Féin being to blame for social deprivation?
They can't be accused of causing it, to be fair - a long history of sectarian employment practices, discrimination in housing and so on, contributed to the historical problems in nationalist areas of west Belfast. SF can be held to account for some aspects of continuing disadvantage.
 

williewatch

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Respect for Willie O'Dea

In that part of the Limerick culture where people derive their status from the kind of the guns they have access to, then Willie O'Dea must command massive respect.

 
S

SeamusNapoleon

They can't be accused of causing it, to be fair - a long history of sectarian employment practices, discrimination in housing and so on, contributed to the historical problems in nationalist areas of west Belfast. SF can be held to account for some aspects of continuing disadvantage.
Fair enough, I won't argue with that.

Something that really p*sses me off though, just looking back there on some posters suggesting a movement akin to what happened in Dublin in the eighties with Concerned Parents Against Drugs.

I was interviewing a dub last month for my thesis research. He would have got involved with Sinn Féin in the early nineties as a young man (he has since left) and I asked him about the anti-drugs movement at the time.

Just a wee extract or two (I won't reveal a name):

'Interviewer: And in Dublin then with the drugs, by the late nineties would CPAD have been around or would they have gone away?

Interviewee: No, that all disappeared. What you had was a lot of people that would have been involved back then got into community building structures, social workers, community officers; they blended into the system to help people. It started turning good after that where they were getting into these jobs, bit of studying. They were working-class people that had left school early as well. But they were educated as in, the social system areas, so they put that to their advantage when they went back to college, and they got these jobs and, yeah, they were in like that

...

Back then it was ‘clear them out’, and if people wanted help, get it. It was more empowering the communities was what it was based about in the early nineties. And it was a major major task that was carried out. I mean, you’re looking at a handful of people in a cumann setting up meetings and trying to get people onboard to march on houses and all; it was a very big thing. By Jesus, it worked out

...

It was a major step because empowering people that were afraid; politicians couldn’t do it at the time. It was all ‘ah no, we’ll sort that’, you know, ‘more treatment centres’. They weren’t in touch with the people. So we were bringing them to meetings. More and more came every week. They’d had enough was enough. And they were worrying about their own kids falling into it. So we decided, right, if we get enough people, we’ll go marching on the houses of the scumbags, drug dealers. Not to be mixed up with drug-takers

...

These were the big boys with money, you know. You could even see from the way you would go in selling An Phoblacht around the area, and you’d go to different pubs, and you would have these scumbags like the Whale and all these, you know, walking around the paper and the heads down

...

The work was done where we ended up getting drug users in, coming in, they’d come up to meetings, ‘I want help’, you know, it was like something out of a movie, you know, these guys walking in. out of their heads, strung out, ‘Look, I want to get off it’, in tears. ‘Right, stay back after this meeting and we’ll get you in contact with the right people.’

...

But yeah, the resources then, we seemed to be getting somewhere with the government; putting pressure on them. And, of course, with them seeing shinners getting… the cops got more involved. To shut us down. So we were backing off a bit, trying to let the people look after it. And the cops came in fairly heavy-handed. They used to drive up to people’s houses, up the driveway, full, blaring the lights full-blare on and off in their sitting-room windows. They’d come out and they’d drive off. So they’d ring the cops, and that was the cops, you know. So they felt very intimidated by what was going on. So the cops were basically trying to turn them against not doing good work in their own communities. So there was a lot, we lost a lot of people over that. They were saying ‘Ah, jeez, I can’t get involved in that, the cops are onto me. I’m only trying to help me kids.’ Which was a weird… when you’re a republican, you’re used to the harassment – which you shouldn’t be. But, people could see now exactly what a republican goes through because of his beliefs. And their belief was they wanted to clean up the drugs in their areas. And they seen first hand what hassle it involves; their bins being taken away by cops, ‘Why did they take away the bins?’, ‘Well they’re going through it to get information, anything you threw out.’, ‘What?’ They couldn’t believe it.'

- When I think of the Garda response, it just gets me so mad.
How dare people stand up to the thugs and drug dealers in the communities that they have to live in, that they have to see their children grow up in.
 

quackquack

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I would imagine linking guarda pay to reductions in crime levels in their area would go a long way towards sorting this mess out.

Limerick always had the problem of 50 patrol cars on the beat on monday night, and none on a saturday night - with no visible police presence when its needed most, bad things happen.

On the flip side, you've basically spent 20 years rewarding people for bad behavior, from making it advantageous to have kids out of wedlock, extra money for even more, and free housing given out way to easily.

You cannot continue to reward people for making bad choices and expect things to change.

Government handouts should be linked to behavior, of the recipient and their offspring.
 

Dohville

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Bigger or smaller, there should be one up there. I would presume you'd put guards in it :D It would only be moved a mile and garda presence is required up there. It was spoken of before, but I'd say the guards wouldn't like to be up there.
WHat magic solution do you think a garda station will provide? It's only a building! Its about those who are in it, and the government have decided we need less, not more gardai.
 

Keith-M

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I find it stunning that even members of the criminal underclass buy the tabloid claptrap about prisons being holiday camps and repeat it on television. You should go to prison for your holidays - perhaps it would give you time to think.
The fact that the criminal underclass see it as a holiday camp is all we need to know. Prison is not working as a disencentive to crime. I have long favoured public flogging, but I'm not suree if the interfering busybodies in the EU would allow that.

We need to make prison a REAL punishment.
 

incredulous101

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I have long favoured public flogging, but I'm not suree if the interfering busybodies in the EU would allow that.

We need to make prison a REAL punishment.
I think if you do a bit of reading you'll find that this type of approach has been tried. Effective only in debasing those carrying out the flogging and their supporters. (I make the assumption that your not joking)
 

Keith-M

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I think if you do a bit of reading you'll find that this type of approach has been tried. Effective only in debasing those carrying out the flogging and their supporters. (I make the assumption that your not joking)
Where has it been tried and what are the crime statistics compared to here?
 

ellie08

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The fact that the criminal underclass see it as a holiday camp is all we need to know. Prison is not working as a disencentive to crime. I have long favoured public flogging, but I'm not suree if the interfering busybodies in the EU would allow that.

We need to make prison a REAL punishment.
Punish the parents if their kids misbehave and are too young to face the courts. It is in effect the parents responsibility and not the states if they raise out of control idiots.
 

myhonorisloyalty666

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This is the solution to the problem in Limerick.
American cargo planes are landing and refueling at Shannon all the time.
So how about a few truckloads of 101st Airborne make a quick dash down to Moyross and Southhill, snatch all the scumbags (the Gardai have dossiers on all these hoodlums) whisk them off to Shannon and load them onto a C-130.
The USAF can fly a 100 miles out over the Atlantic and come back with an empty hold.
If anyone asks what happened to the Limerick gangsters the answer will be 'Who?'

Back in the 1970's in Argentina every week for about two years groups of up to 20 prisoners held at the infamous Naval Mechanical School in Buenos Aires were drugged and taken to the airport, where they were put on board a plane, flown out to sea and pushed out.:D
 

Ger Nalist

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bad planning

For what is worth, this is what I took from the RTE programme. This is not my concrete view just my thoughts on an issue that I have been concerned about for some time. As someone from Limerick, I learned little new from the Prime Time programme. If you build a high number of social housing in dead-end estates, with no shops, no facilities, and no opportunities or in the case of Moyross expect people to live a few hundred metres from the city dump (or in the Island Fields case acorss the Shannon from the dump) then you are building problems for the future which is what we now have in Limerick. The other problem in Limerick, is that it is a small city and all these housing states are close by so the problems in them are intensified (of course I am not saying that it would be great if the problems could be confined, just pointing to this as a factor for social difficulties.). Some policing in Limerick has been effective, personally I would like to see more court cases than exclusives in The Sunday World or News of the World, especially relating to key crime families. But there are other issues that not everyone will want to discuss. Limerick is a split city between the haves and have nots. There are good schools for the haves and there are not so good schools for the haves not, there are even rugby clubs for the haves and the have nots and arguably third level colleges and there are places to live for the haves and the have nots. There are great people in Limerick and there has always been but for many it is too easy to ignore the problems in areas like Moyross etc. For years Limerick people have been happy to live and go about their business in Limerick so long as the problems in Moyross etc have remained off their radars. (which has been the case until reletaively recently). Sure Moyross etc has lacked facilties but there were plenty of business people in Limerick who could have opened shops etc in these areas years ago but didn't. I also don't remember election campaigns in the city focusing on these issues. Everyone in Limerick needs to want to address these problems. Not sure that is happening now. Also Limerick, in my mind, has relied on outside people too much, Dell for jobs (catastrophic when these jobs went), social services for housing etc instead of using its own resources, standing up for itself and getting on with it. There is a victim mindset. Limerick is a victim of bad press, it's a victim of a Dublin bias bla de bla.
Limerick needs to get on with it. The reason the city centre is not doing well is partly because businesses in the city centre were poorly run, badly staffed, inflexible with lunchtime closing, poor attitudes. Restaurants were bad and made little effort, and the city centre has not moved with the times. There are shops in Limerick that are extremely old-fashioned. The city lacks a welcome too. Sometimes when I travel home and go out, I am refused entry to clubs and pubs because I am "not a local" or not known to the bouncers. Also the key thing people miss out on when they talk about the drugs problems in Limerick is that someone has to buy drugs off these dealers in order for it to be profitable and often its the middle classes doing this. Limerick could be a fantastic city, it has been and will be again. For the city centre to thrive steps like the Saturday market, good restaurants, cafes etc are required. Proper planning in the city centre is required to end abominations like Arthurs Quay and Cruises Street. Limerick city businesses need to come up with a plan to fight out of town supermarkets and stick with it. Moyross etc will take a long time to sort out, but people need to back the regeneration and people, all the people, need to ask themselves if they are doing that. A fairer Limerick is needed, top schools need to have more access for people from poorer areas and not just the brothers and sisters of the pubils they already have. The type of planning mistakes can not be repeated. People need to be given more of a chance. And lastly the people of Limerick need to realise that when given a chance it is up to them to take it. Young people in Moyross kept saying "we have nothing else to do" - "of course you would get involved in crime if you lived here". To an extent the challenge for Limerick is to make sure that the next time RTE visit and a young person says this that it won't be true. For the moment it would seem to be.
 

sking81

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I find it stunning that even members of the criminal underclass buy the tabloid claptrap about prisons being holiday camps and repeat it on television. You should go to prison for your holidays - perhaps it would give you time to think.
You dont seem to get it-the whole concept of prison to these guys doesnt hold the same meaning as it would to you and me. To them its almost like a rite of passage, going away for awhile is like earning your stripes. For a lot of these guys, prison is probably safer than being outside, inside they have their mates to look after them, and as mentioned by the fat man, have enough to live a fairly comfortable life (3 square meals daily, TV, gym, and yes, they can run their business from inside-I mean what more could they want?)

I lived in Limerick for a year or two, back around 2000. Even back then, the city was an intimidating place to be. I've lived in quite a few European cities (Dublin, Amsterdam, Paris) and I've never felt the same level of uneasyness walking around as I used to in Limerick. The chav's down there just seem to be a different breed-their pretty aggressive, and will literally harass you for walking down the street wearing clothes they dont like, or simply for the craic if their bored.

A huge part of the problem is the culture of the estates. Parents generally have little or no control over their kids. I've seen kids as young as 5 selling drugs at the behest of their parents. The kids themselves seem to have embraced the black ghetto lifestyle as a way of expression. Listening to them can be like listening to a wigger parody. Hip hop has its postive points, but in Limerick not a lot of these shine through.

Im afraid theres no real solution for the estates as they are. They've gone miles too far down the track to be rejuvinated. Throwing money or facilites at the estates as they are is a complete waste of both time and money. Any solution will have to be taken on a national scale. In my view, they should focus around-

Providing work-
Any job prospects for a lot of these people went up in smoke when Dell took off. People at least need the chance to try earn an honest crust. If they dont have the opportunity to do that, crime is a quite sensible solution for them.

Tackling Organised Crime-
I know for fact that the Limerick gangs are primarly funded by drugs. I've long been a proponent of legalising cannibas as a means to take away a large part of that funding. This is the cash that allows them to buy the souped up armoured cars, the guns etc...and in the long run, its having these that essentially 'buys' the respect of the kids in the area.

I believe a licencing system that allows people to legally grow 2-3 plants on their property for personal use could potentially cut revenue for organised gangs (in Limerick especially) by anything from 35-50%.

Policing-
The ERU (Emergency Response Unit) seem to be drafted in and out of the city when the estates get too heated. They leave, and the ************************e starts back up as their leaving. The locals are generally to scared, worried, or cowed to get involved in community policing. I think if any justice is going to come to these areas, it may be something similar to the IRA managment of estates in the North during the troubles (Im not condoning this by the way-but I can see this developing in a few years).


Political Change-
Willie O'Dea is an absolute diaster. Having a liar, scoundrel, and perjurer as an elected representative hardly a good reflection on the city. I'd like to see Stephen Collins run in the upcoming elections. There are quite a few reasons I'd like to see this, one of the main one's being the mans own personal safety-good luck to the gang that tries to shoot an elected official.

Prisons-
Its clear these guys have no fear of prisons. We need prisons to be somewhere that nobody wants to end up in. After watching last night, I'd say forced labour is something that should be looked at-we need new roads? Chain gang. Get them out there. Before last night I was against this, but the chav made a good point when he said the taxpayer is paying for a holiday for him. Make them work, and if they dont work, they dont eat.

Limerick city does have a lot going for it-its got a good art college, UL of course, is rugby mad and has a good nightlife. However it will always be blighted by what goes on in the estates, and as long as the politicans down there dont want any part of trying to genuinely solve the mess (and they dont) it will continue to degenerate-and I believe as the money becomes tighter, as the cuts start to hit more and more of the less well off down there, its going to get an awful lot messier than it is now.
 

Dohville

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I believe flogging is still on the Manx statute books as an acceptable punishment.
 

Prof Honeydew

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Speaking as one who lives in a county on the periphery of Limerick, and with long family connections there, and a Great-Grandson and grand nephew of two Mayors, to me it seems tragic that the third city in the Republic should have been allowed to slump so low over the last 30 years. The reasons for it are many, and first and foremost bad planning has been a curse to the city. Limerick County Council has sucked the life and blood from the City by allowing the Crescent Shopping Centre grow to a dominant level. The result is that the City Centre is now completely dead. The shops on Cruises Street, which opened in 1992, have largely relocated to the Shopping Centre and have been replaced by cheaper high street chains. It amazes me that when you go out to the Crescent it is literally thronged with people, and the city is empty. How could this have happened? Well the City COuncil are not entirely innocent either; they overcharged business and rates within the city boundary were at one time the most expensive of any local authority in Ireland. Both Councils destroyed the city by building enormous social housing projects on the periphery of the centre and the middle class abandoned the precincts, moving out to the surrounding Counties. If ever you need an example of our disastrous system of local government than point to Limerick. It has been literally devasted by civic goons.


To say it cannot be fixed is ridiculous, of course it can. Dublin had an atrocious reputation in the 1970s and 1980s and like Limerick was a failing city with terrible social problems and drugs. Imagination turned it around after the European City of Culture in the mid-1980s. The middle classes were encouraged to return to the city centre; the streetscape was improved and the city fathers worked on the image of Dublin and turned it completely around. I lived in Dublin for 9 years and saw a ruined town grow back into a modern European city and I recall visiting the City Hall after it's restoration and reading an entry in the visitors book from an American Lady who had been a student in Dublin in the 1960s, and she remarked how strikingly well the City had really changed for the better. Dublin began to thrive again because its local Government was reformed. The old corrupt County Council was broken up and the city and county was re-organised into four local units that co-ordinated and co-operated to improve the city. It would probably be even better if they were all replaced with a powerful assembly, but that's another matter. However Dublin also received patronage from central Government, as it properly should as the capital city.

Dublin, however, has many things going for it that Limerick does not. Firstly it is a thriving capital city; Limerick is a regional market city. Dublin has a huge population base whereas much of the population of Limerick now lives outside the city boundary. Dublin has a thriving employment base; since the closing of Dell and the companies that depended on it, Limerick is an employment blackspot and most of the progressive youth in the city have moved to Dublin or emigrated. Limerick also has an image problem that goes beyond perception: it is more of a mindset and one which the people of Limerick and their Governors are content with. I recall being at a Art exhibition in the early 1980s and the newly appointed City Manager, Jack Burke, spoke about the idea and philosophy of a city and that it should have squares and fountains, and places for people to congregate. The people guffawed and laughed and the Manager lost his temper and said 'no, I'm serious', if you want this city to live, then it needs to change both its mindset and its urban space. He did great work in helping renovate large areas of the crumbling city fabric, but he left for Cork soon after and was a great loss. Sometimes public servants with imagination can be just the ticket for a people who really don't want to be improved.

With regard to the provision of facilities and redevelopment of South Hill and Moyross, I have to honestly say that where I grew up there was no swimming poll, no gym, no Library, no playing fields etc. We had nothing, but we did have hope. The problems with Limerick are not going to be solved by throwing facilities and new houses at people; it's winning over hearts and minds. It is also fighting the cycle of despair of teenage pregnancies, of which Limerick has the higest. Children born outside stable and loving relationships are going to go feral, that's a fact, and it is something we need to tackle in our wider society. Our children need to be thought the value of being responsible citizens. They also need to be thought about respect for their bodies and the responsibility of using contraception if they decide to become sexually active. However throwing condoms at kids isn't the solution, it's winning them over. Succeed in this and Limerick will turn around, fail and that guy is right: anyone over 5 years of age is doomed.
Very thoughtful and very fair analysis. Unlike some of my fellow-citizens, you've recognised that there are deeper social problems in parts of Limerick than in almost any other part of the country and you've identified some of the reasons why. However, there are a few other thoughts I'd like to put forward.

Despite all the negative publicity, regenration has made some difference. Things have quietened down somewhat from the frenzy of a few years ago when some areas were slipping towards anarchy. The provision of community facilities has helped as has more focussed community involvement in initiatives aimed at weaning some of the youngsters off the dead-end. However, it hasn't got very far beneath the surface and won't either unless the big decisions are taken regarding rehousing, rebuilding communities around local initiative, isolating centres of anti-social behaviour and restricting their influence, providing and maintaining avenues of entry into mainstream society for those who want to get away from gang culture and promoting an economic base that can sustain a soceity where crime isn't seen as the only means of advancement.

Achievement of the above needs long-term commitment from politics, administration and community. Unfortunately, Limerick is still hamstrung by conditions which make this very difficult. The division of the city into three separate local authorities has dumped all the problems into one of them and is sucking the lifeblood out of the City. This has been recognised for almost four decades but not one local politician of influence has shown the guts or the leadership to try and resolve the problem.

Because they have been allowed to fester for over a genration, the particular difficulties of Limerick are now way beyond the capacity of its local authorities to resolve. It needs sustained backing from national government which was recognised in the Fitzgerald Report and which resulted in the Regeration Programme. We are, however, living in straitened economic circumstances and much of the work identified by John Fitzgerald and fleshed out by successors like Brendan Kenny is being sidelined because of a shortage of funding. This is not necessarily the fault of national government which is faced with countless competing demands but it is a reflection of the complete absence of influence Limerick has had in national politics over the last thirteen years. Its main presence in government over that period appears to be quite content with reducing parts of the city to near savagery as long as it doesn't threaten his miser's hoard of number 1 votes.

The Regeneration Programme mightn't have been the answer to all of Limerick's particular problems but at least it was a comprehensive expression of commitment to get a handle on them. Some very dedicated people have produced significant improvements, particularly in the provision of community and sporting facilities, and the overall focus to its work still exists. But confidence is beginning to lag and the whole effort is in danger of falling apart. If it does, it will reduce many decent people to a level of despair in community, government and society that will take decades to repair.
 

Johnnybaii

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re. flogging

The British navy. The trial of Christ. Colonial regimes around the world. etc etc. Sorry - I didn't realize you were joking.
Only one of your examples is concrete and as far as im aware the British Navy were pretty disciplined.

Any response to the question re crime stats or will you just pull out more wishy washy leftie tripe?
 

Keith-M

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I believe flogging is still on the Manx statute books as an acceptable punishment.
Indeed and it's used as a very successful deterrant in Singapore. I'm not talking about petty criminals, I'm talking aabout hardered crimials. We need to stop sending our criminals into the holiday camps we call prisons and make these people think hard about the consequences of their actions.
 

incredulous101

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I believe flogging is still on the Manx statute books as an acceptable punishment.
It was birching on the Isle of Man. Hasn't been used in years as it was found to be in contravention of the ECHR.

Sorry I was flippant earlier- I did in the end think you were joking.

The notion of flogging is outside the realms of any reasoned debate. Not least because it is forbidden by the ECHR to which were are signatories and which has been incorporated into EU law.

Problems in Limerick are complex and as much as some might like there is no simple solution.
 


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