Anti-social behaviour making life hell for grieving Limerick family 

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Gerard McMahon of Baunacloka Heights, Mungret.

A FATHER living in a new social housing home in County Limerick, which was officially opened to great fanfare last year, says that there are problems being ignored now the cameras have gone.

Gerard McMahon lost his wife and the mother of his two children – now teenagers – when she died tragically. His recent move to Baunacloka Heights in Mungret was “meant to be a new start” for him and his family.

But the family have been plagued by gangs of teenagers who, Gerard says, “haven’t given us a moment’s peace” since moving in.

With a small green adjoining his corner-house home, Gerard says he’s the victim of daily acts of vandalism.

“They’re throwing stones, kicking the life out of the hall door and my car, and they’re hopping soccer balls off the house at all hours of the night,” he told the Limerick Post.

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“Kids playing on the green, that’s lovely and lads are entitled to play ball, but this goes on at 11.30 at night and later.

“They’ve vandalised all the trees that were planted on the green and broken them down. They’re banging on my windows and looking in – I can’t even open the blinds.

“There’s a small area of loose stones outside the front door – there’s no garden. I wanted to put up a small fence to stop the balls being kicked in and I was told I needed planning permission.”

Mr McMahon said he complained to Limerick City and County Council who directed him to Co-operative Housing Ireland (CHI), who built and own the homes in which the occupiers are tenants.

He said he has has contacted CHI “on numerous occasions but they just fob me off.”

He has complained to Gardaí who have patrolled the area but his situation hasn’t improved.

Mr McMahon says the harassment is constant and, while others are also suffering, locals are afraid to confront the perpetrators as they come in gangs.

“Some of them are coming in from surrounding estates, but this is being done by local teenagers.

“They’re giving these houses to people who don’t know or want to know how to behave and then walking away and letting them do what they like.”

A spokesperson for Co-operative Housing Ireland told the Limerick Post that the organisation “has been in dialogue with a member about their concerns regarding nuisance behaviour in open public spaces in Baunacloka Heights”.

“The CHI team in Limerick met with the member in question in July to listen to their concerns. In response to issues raised, the team have communicated with members living in the estate about young people and their activities in the open spaces.

“CHI is working with the community to address the problems being experienced. The erection of a fence to mitigate the disturbances has been raised with the developer and local authorities and may be subject to planning compliance.”

The spokesperson said the CHI is  still “awaiting a decision on this.”