RESIDENTS in several housing estates in City East claim they are being tormented by anti-social behaviour from drug-taking teenage gangs who’ve made life a “living hell” for families.
One concerned resident from the Springfield estate on the Old Singland Road told the Limerick Post this week that ongoing drug use and dealing in the area is plain to see in broad day light and that underage drinking in the area has now become “rampant”. They also claimed residents in the area are left feeling vulnerable and anxious on a daily basis by underage gangs, ranging in size from 15 to 50 individuals, that sit around open areas “taking drugs, drinking and fornicating in public”.
According to one source, Castletroy residents have been threatened and told there windows would be broken as well as young children and toddlers having been hit by objects. One resident in Springfield estate who asked a gang to clean up a mess they had left in the area was then threatened at knifepoint.
“Instead of the unreasonable response I assumed I would get, I was instead subjected to masses of abuse from one individual who told me my windows would be broken. He then told another individual to stick something in my face and that’s when he pulled a knife on me,” the man told the Limerick Post after the attack.
Another householder in the Castletroy estate is living in such fear that she has resorted to driving to the local shop — a mere 100m from her front door.
Meanwhile in another City East housing estate, old people are afraid to go out in the dark, kids can’t play outside and householders fear for their property will be vandalised or damaged.
According to Sinn Féin councillor Séighin Ó Ceallaigh, one of the worst hit areas for anti-social behaviour in City East is at the steps next to the shrine in Garryowen.
“Young people are part of these communities, and must learn of community respect. They might not realise it but they are causing huge harm to the Garryowen area and its residents, and that there are alternatives to anti-social behaviour,” said the 21-year-old public representative.
Cmhlr Ó Ceallaigh is encouraging all young people in the city to have respect for others, whom he believes, are entitled to live in “peaceful areas”. He is also seeking extra measures such as CCTV cameras and an extra Garda presence in badly affected areas to help tackle the anti-social behaviour which he deems a “social and environmental issue”.