Row over Carew Park demolition work

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

A CAREW Park resident has asked Limerick City Council to reinstate a wall demolished last Thursday, arguing it has removed his privacy along with the structure.

A CAREW Park resident has asked Limerick City Council to reinstate a wall demolished last Thursday, arguing it has removed his privacy along with the structure.

Noel Higgins, who lives on a terrace of four houses at Maigue Way, said he had not been informed that the plans - to facilitate regeneration - to knock 12 vacant bungalows at Clover Court would also see the demolition of an eight-foot wall mounted by security rails.

But Patricia Boylan, community officer with the estate management group, said most in the community favoured the demolition of the houses, which had been attracting vandals, and that knocking the wall would improve community safety by allowing a CCTV camera focus on the enlarged green.

“Our privacy is going to be gone when all this is done. We are here 12 years and we are going to be opened up to the whole area when they knock this wall,” Mr Higgins said.

He fears that the demolition could lead to rats from neighbouring Barry’s Field getting into his terrace and that it will be more difficult for the four families on the row of houses to keep an eye on their eight children.

He accepted the wall was structurally unsound but has asked the council to either reinstate it or to raise the perimeter wall of his house to protect his privacy, something he has been told won’t be done.

Mr Higgins described efforts to get in touch with estate management to get clarity. He claimed it was when his calls went unanswered that he turned to Concerned Residents, a group of local activists which has been highly critical of the estate management group and Limerick Regeneration.

Ms Boylan said her group had returned Mr Higgins’ calls and added that most people in the area were in favour of the demolitions.

The wall, she said, had initially been built to protect residents of the 12 bungalows from intruders. Residents there had been “happy to be transferred out of the bungalows, which were old and damp”.

“They are all boarded up and as you can see the young fellas had started to take off all the slates and some had been firing them through windows. The reason for the high wall was that young fellas were getting in and robbing their backs. They were being tormented in there. You couldn’t leave houses there because it only attracts anti-social behaviour. And you can’t take them down and leave the wall because the wall is connected up to the bungalows,” Ms Boylan said.

“I’m surprised that some residents would prefer to keep the wall and not have the (security) camera in the area work better. It will now be able to focus on the green and add to security for their houses.”