Wednesday 21 February 2018

Criminals facing ban from regenerated areas of city

Barry Duggan

SOME of the country's most dangerous criminals will not be allowed to live in refurbished areas of Ireland's largest regeneration project if they continue to involve themselves in crime.

The head of Limerick's Regeneration Agencies, Brendan Kenny, has issued the warning ahead of the release of senior gang members from prison later this year.

Members of the McCarthy-Dundon gang are set to be freed over the coming months. Ger Dundon is due for release in the coming days.

As a result of the activities of Limerick's criminal gangs, four areas across the city -- Moyross, St Mary's Park, Ballinacurra-Weston and Southill -- have been earmarked for the massive regeneration scheme.

These areas are also strongholds of the McCarthy-Dundon and Keane-Collopy criminal gangs.

Mr Kenny said anyone who lived in the new homes would require a garda-clearance certificate before they would be allowed to move into areas that had undergone regeneration.

"It (the garda-clearance certificate) is a mainstay of our regeneration masterplan," said Mr Kenny.

"If that doesn't happen, we are going nowhere."

Speaking on Limerick's Live 95FM, Mr Kenny said the question of where criminals would live if they were not provided with the clearance certificate was not easy to answer.

"The bottom line is that if there are families involved in anti-social behaviour, then they won't get the benefits of regeneration. If they are due a new house, they won't get a new house. If they are due a refurbishment, then they won't get the refurbishments," he said.

"What follows then is that they stay in the house they are in. There was never an intention to move problems off to another area.

"That has to be dealt with by the system -- whether that is the local authority or the gardai.

"Criminals live in jail and if people are committing crimes, then that is the place for them.

"But it is trickier than that because quite often, families in this situation have children, they have parents and it is not easy," said Mr Kenny.

He added that the regeneration agencies had not moved or displaced anyone from their homes to others areas of the mid-west region.

Irish Independent

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