Fears mount as violent feuding reignited in city
Teenagers behind fresh turf wars in Limerick
Published 24/10/2010 | 05:00
Community figures in Limerick are expressing concern about an increase in violent attacks and intimidation from teenagers who appear to be bent on continuing the former feuding that caused multiple deaths in the city over the past decade.
Last weekend one family in Moyross was beset over a seven-hour period during which two cars belonging to a mother and daughter were almost destroyed, windows were broken and a petrol bomb was thrown, exploding in the front porch of a neighbour's house.
A couple and young child were in the house when the petrol bomb exploded. Gardai arrested two men, one carrying a slash hook. Both were released after questioning and a file is being sent to the DPP.
In the St Mary's Park area in the Island Field there has been running violence involving teenagers whose families were previously involved in feuding but who agreed a truce in late 2008.
A local community activist, who asked not to be named, said: "They [the teenagers] grew up with all this going on round them and the situation is that the hatred is still there, even though their fathers and mothers and uncles have put it behind them. The kids grew up with this and it preys on their minds. It's like a jungle. They're accustomed to gardai in flack jackets and guns."
Serious attacks have also taken place in the Corbally area on the outskirts of the town, where families from St Mary's and other central parts of the town moved to in recent years. One young man from the Ballynanty area recently received a very serious beating as he was stopped by a gang in the Corbally area.
The attacks in Moyross are concentrated on the few residents remaining in Castle Park, where only five of a street of 30 houses remain due to demolition as part of the Limerick Regeneration project. The residents say they want to be rehoused but are unable to get alternative council housing.
The family at the centre of last Saturday night's attack have been in their house for over 20 years.
The first in a series of overnight attacks began with the family's two cars being vandalised by a gang of youths. The families of these youths have been at the centre of feuding and other crime for more than a decade.
Gardai were called twice, but this did not prevent three further attacks between midnight and five in the morning, during which a rock was thrown through the front window of the house and the petrol bomb thrown.
A former resident of the area said that part of the problem was troublesome families had been left housed in the area and were making life impossible for those remaining who want to be rehoused.
A wall that had separated parts of the estate was demolished allowing the teenagers access to the street where vulnerable families wanting to leave the area still live.
People who spoke to the Sunday Independent all said they were fearful that the beatings and attacks may result in deaths. The growth of heroin dealing in the city is also contributing to the current turf wars, they say.