Home > Addressing crime and anti-social behaviour in Limerick.

Donovan, Anne Marie and Connolly, Johnny (2008) Addressing crime and anti-social behaviour in Limerick. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 25, Spring 2008, p. 22.

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The Fitzgerald Report recently submitted to the Cabinet Committee on Social Inclusion addresses social exclusion, crime and disorder issues in the Moyross and Southill communities and other disadvantaged areas in Limerick city.1

The report advocates a strategic response which includes:
  • the resolution of the issue of criminality;
  • economic and infrastructural regeneration;
  • a co-ordinated response between local authorities, gardaí and community and voluntary sector agencies to tackle entrenched disadvantage.
The report provides evidence from a variety of sources which highlights the decreasing quality of life in these communities. In particular, it points to statistics compiled by the Central Statistics Office indicating that these areas represent the ‘most deprived in the country’ (p. 5). Additional evidence collected by former Dublin City Manager John Fitzgerald and his team indicates that members of these communities have suffered violent intimidation and damage to personal and council property from so-called ‘criminal elements’. Other concerns include the number of young people involved in anti-social behaviour and drug distribution.

The report emphasises that economic and social regeneration is based on the success of a proposed set of ‘intense policing arrangements’ (p. 8). The report states that ‘dealing with the serious (although relatively small in number) criminal elements … will be fundamental to creating the conditions for real progress to be achieved on all other fronts’ (p. 6). This policing initiative will occur in the context of a five-year programme, the objective of which is to ‘normalise and stabilise these areas’ (p. 8). Specific recommendations include:
  • targeting the assets of criminals by establishing a local CAB operation;
  • maintaining a highly visible Garda presence in the area, which would involve dedicating up to 100 gardaí to these communities to restore public order and deal with criminal activity
  • empowering Limerick City Council to evict tenants involved in criminal or anti-social behaviour.
It is proposed that two new geographically defined development agencies (Limerick Southside and Limerick Northside) be established to co-ordinate the delivery of economic and social regeneration. With these structures in place, the report recommends a number of economic and social initiatives to address disadvantage, including:
  • the attraction of commercial investment into these communities via fiscal incentive schemes;
  • the development of transport infrastructure and access to these communities;
  • the total regeneration of housing stock in these estates, including a mix of social and private housing.
It is recommended that special teams be established to co-ordinate the efforts of existing bodies to provide intensive and targeted interventions to local residents and families. These teams will be multi-disciplinary and are to include educational welfare officers, family support workers, local drugs taskforce and HSE representatives and community gardaí. Particular emphasis is to be place on the provision of activities and amenities for young people in the evenings and summer holidays.

In terms of drug abuse, Limerick city currently falls within the remit of the Regional Taskforce for the Midwestern region established under the National Drugs Strategy. However, the report recommends that Limerick city benefit from local intervention initiatives given that ‘the problems of drug abuse in Limerick city are particularly acute’ (p. 12). These interventions should also include prevention and education initiatives. (Anne Marie Donovan and Johnny Connolly)

1. Fitzgerald J (2007) Addressing issues of social exclusion in Moyross and other disadvantaged areas of Limerick City: report to the Cabinet Committee on Social Inclusion. Dublin: Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Crime prevention
Issue Title
Issue 25, Spring 2008
Page Range
p. 22
Health Research Board
Issue 25, Spring 2008
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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