THE establishment of a fund to invest money seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) into community projects should benefit areas of Limerick that have suffered the impact of crime.
That’s according to Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan who said that the Community Safety Innovation Fund announced by Justice Minister Helen McEntee last week will see an initial €2 million seized by CAB redirected back into communities.
“This is a very positive step and good news for those communities that have suffered at the hands of criminal gangs. I am hopeful that some of this money will be directed towards those communities in Limerick that have suffered the impact of crime,” he added.
“For too long criminals have been flaunting their wealth in these communities, communities where the majority of residents are law abiding and hard working. People across Limerick tell me on a regular basis how frustrated they are with this demonstration of ill-gotten wealth and how it attracts impressionable youths into these criminal enterprises.
“I hope that any seizures resulting from Operation Copóg will be reinvested into the St. Mary’s Park community.
“Sinn Féin has advocated for many years that any money seized by CAB should be ring-fenced and put back into communities to tackle disadvantage, provide community services and fund prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services in the fight against drugs. This fund should also be used for local sports clubs, youth clubs, employment centres and other valuable services in our communities.
The Minister must ensure that the Community Safety Innovation Fund goes especially to community groups who are keeping our young people away from crime. I have the privilege of knowing those who run many of these groups in Limerick and they are the unsung heroes of their communities.
“I know the devastation these criminals have brought, especially to working class communities in Limerick and I can assure you that it doesn’t happen by accident that most of the money seized by CAB originates in areas that are highly disadvantaged.
“These anti-community criminals promise wealth and glamour but only deliver death and devastation,”Deputy Quinlivan concluded.