Limerick Council in firing line over anti-social behaviour at Punch’s site

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2-9-14  Caravan at the Old Punches' Hotel siteLIMERICK City and County Council has been condemned for allowing an abandoned hotel site at Punch’s Cross to become a location for anti-social behaviour, illegal dumping and street drinking after Traveller families moved into its main car park.

According to  City West Labour Party councillor Joe Leddin, the Council and KPMG, the official receiver for Punch’s Hotel, have failed to manage the security and maintenance of the site pending its resale.

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He claims that despite several requests to KPMG to properly secure and monitor both the building and the surrounding site, no action was taken.

“The physical appearance of the entire site with weeds, rubbish and broken windows is an absolute disgrace and again no action or interest was taken by the City Council despite calls to do so.

“It’s just not good enough for officials in the environment section to pass the problem to their colleagues in property management when both departments should have worked together to secure the site in the absence of any intent by the receiver to do so,” he said.

He added that the site has now attracted Traveller families, who have located in the main car park, because there was no effort made to block vehicle access. He said that local residents had to endure various forms of anti-social behaviour with dumping, street drinking and partying at all hours.

“Security is non-existent and until such time as the premises is sold, I am once again calling on the council to take immediate action to remove the Travellers and properly secure and clean the site with all associated costs involved to be levied against any future sale,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Limerick City and County Council said that although it had not been formally declared a derelict site, the Council was making contact with the Receiver to improve the appearance of the building while it remains vacant.

“We are aware that the Receiver is actively trying to find a buyer for the site and have it up and running as a viable business once again”, she said.

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