A TIPPERARY councillor has put the blame for anti-social behaviour in Newport squarely at the feet of Limerick Regeneration.
Speaking at a local area meeting, Cllr John Carroll said windows and property are being broken.
“Limerick Regeneration has a lot to answer for. A lot of people involved are buying or renting in Tipperary,” said Cllr Carroll.
He maintained the problem needed to be tackled as people were being “moved from one area to another and it is going to cause huge problems”.
“It is acknowledged there is a problem in Limerick, but they are moving the problem into smaller towns.
“We have to deal with it or it will get out of hand,” said Cllr Carroll, who accused Limerick Regeneration of “shooting the problem off to rural communities”.
Back over the border, Cllr Eddie Wade says the influx is causing unease in East Limerick.
“I know everybody is vetted by the gardai and the housing authority but at the same time people are very concerned when they see houses occupied by strangers.
“They contact their local representatives to see who they are, it’s of grave concern to people living in rural villages in East Limerick,” said Cllr Wade.
Both Cllrs Carroll and Wade stress that it is a very small minority who are causing the problems.
“There are very decent people as well who have made a big contribution to their new communities,” said Cllr Wade.
“A small minority seem to be ruling the roost,” said Cllr Carroll.
Cllr Wade says he has worried constituents coming to him from Caherconlish, Doon, Murroe, Cappamore and his own parish of Ballyneety.
“We don’t know who is living down the road from us anymore. One time when somebody came in to the parish they joined the local GAA or soccer club or their sons and daughters did.
“That is not happening anymore. There has been a big influx in to parishes across East Limerick.
“Often people read a court case in the Leader with an address in the parish and they would say to me “God we didn’t know these people lived there at all’,” said the chairman of the Castleconnell local area committee.
Cllr Wade has spoken before of a man sleeping with a pitch fork beside his bed due to fear following the spate of aggravated burglaries in Pallasgreen, Murroe and Cappamore earlier this year.
Another one in which an elderly person was tied up occurred last week in Boher.
“People are very uneasy - strange cars have been seen on different roads.
“There is community alert in every parish and we text each other if there is a car we don’t recognise.
“At one stage we all knew each other up and down the road but that day is gone and everybody looks out for one another.
“In every townland I know of people keep an eye out for one another and that is sad too,” said Cllr Wade, who added that the closure of Doon garda station and the threat of further closures is another cause for concern in the county.
A spokesperson for Limerick Regeneration was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.