Saturday 22 July 2017

Limerick: The street is deserted but for teenagers looking to buy ecstasy

A man urinates outside a cafe in Limerick city
A man urinates outside a cafe in Limerick city
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Limerick's Cruises Street was filled with Christmas shoppers earlier in the day, but at 1am it is deserted, apart from four teenagers looking for ecstasy.

“Do you know anyone selling yokes? Have you any?” one asks.

He says he is 19 but looks closer to 16.

The city’s taxi drivers were expecting a busy weekend but recognise that late-night fares come with a risk.

“I try to screen them to make life easier for myself. It is easy to say that I am booked,” says one. “A few weeks ago, a guy tried to get in while he was getting a beating. I think he was using me to get away from it – but all he was doing was inviting it on me.

“None of us want any grief but I’ve had a guy hitting another fella’s head off my windows. It can get hairy at times but it’s all down to drink.”

On Denmark Street, people are flocking to one of the eight late bars and nightclubs nearby. A homeless woman stops to chat, but is disturbed when someone she knows flicks a lit cigarette at our photographer.

Two gardaí sit in an unmarked car and keep a watchful eye on a man across the street who is visibly upset. He beats his fist into the door of St Michael’s Church and lets out a banshee-like cry while his friends try to console him.

In total, we see six men urinating on the same stretch of road.

Further down the street, a young man is kicked out of a nightclub.

“You c***s think that you are gods. You can get f****d,” he shouts.

A young man is flagging down every moving vehicle and trying to open the door of every car he can.

The rain gets heavy as the drinkers drift home.

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