Irish Rail told to deal with “little gurriers” on Limerick railway bridges

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Section of the Railway Bridge at Childers Road

IRISH Rail have been urged to step in and deal with antisocial behaviour on railway bridges, which has terrorised parts of Limerick City in recent weeks.

At last Monday’s meeting of Limerick City and County Council, Fine Gael councillor Sarah Kiely asked that Irish Rail secure its bridges and tracks to prevent access to those causing dangerous and unlawful activity.

“Irish Rail is the bane of the lives of many people in Limerick at present,” Cllr Kiely told the Council executive.

“The unlawful activity on the railway bridges is the most serious and is causing property damage as well as distress to the victims.

“This has been well publicised and all stakeholders from the Gardaí to the Council to public representatives have raised it.”

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The City East representative maintains that the railway crossings under Irish Rail’s ownership are in a very poor state across the city and county.

“They are a blight on our communities, they look dishevelled and grubby,” she claimed.

Cllr Kiely also drew attention to the railway crossing in Rathbane where, she said, pedestrians are unprotected as there is no level difference between the road and path.

“Children pass there every day to go to and home from school. Parents have raised this issue many times and I have in turn raised it too.
“No action to resolve this dangerous situation has been taken. Bollards would help, in the meantime, and stop cars parking there and blocking pedestrians who then must go onto a busy road to pass.
“The tracks in Rathbane are full of overgrowth and provide cover for unscrupulous people to dump rubbish. A commitment was given by Irish Rail that this overgrowth would be removed. It hasn’t happened despite this commitment.
“A resident confronted Irish Rail inspectors a couple of months ago out of pure frustration. Again, no action, no answers.”
Cllr Kiely then raised questions about the CIE Club on Carey’s Road which she described as “another eyesore”.
“The CIE Club was added to the derelict site register several years ago. Have any levies been collected from Irish Rail?
“I need an answer on that. We as a local authority are quick enough to collect from private property owners. The same should be applied to Irish Rail. At least once a month the CIE Club has caused distress to the people who live there. Enough is enough.
“Irish Rail need to look after their infrastructure, they need to do their bit to improve our communities and ensure safety is a priority for residents and pedestrians and other citizens.”
Fianna Fáil councillor Kieran O’Hanlon seconded Cllr Kiely’s motion, referring to those involved in antisocial behaviour on the Childers Road railway bridge as “little gurriers”.
“These are kids as young as 12 and 13. Even if the guards caught them, they could do nothing as they are only children.
“But they are putting people’s lives in real danger and Irish Rail’s infrastructure does need to be made safe,” Cllr O’Hanlon said.