Drugs remains cause fear among residents in Limerick

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

The drug paraphernalia found near the Athlunkard Boat Club in Limerick, which is causing disquiet among residents
THE remains of used drugs are being left along a wall beside the River Shannon, causing fear among residents.

THE remains of used drugs are being left along a wall beside the River Shannon, causing fear among residents.

Scores of hypodermic needles have been left on a patch of land beside a wall separating the estate from the banks of the River Shannon.

Bored youths in their late teens and early 20s, are sitting on the wall after dark, injecting heroin, and snorting cocaine and leaving the remains beside the wall.

It has sparked fears that children playing on the wall in the daytime are liable to be pricked with heroin needles, or other drug remains.

Local Independent councillor John Gilligan has called on the government to launch an anti-drugs campaign to warn youngsters of the dangers of substance abuse.

When the Limerick Leader visited the area this week, one spot was littered with used hypodermic needles, tablet sheets, packets, spoons containing what appeared to be heroin residue and other drug-related paraphernalia.

One resident, who did not wish to be identified, said: “I have been approached by people in the estate warning me. It is very worrying for children running around the area. It is an ongoing problem: it died away there for a while, but it seems to have come back again.”

Plans are in place to erect CCTV cameras around the riverside area.

Following this find, Cllr Gilligan wants this process sped up.

“We have been negotiating for quite some time to erect a camera at the entrance to the Island Bank. All preparatory work has been done, so I would be looking to ensure this is finished as soon as possible,” he said.

But he acknowledged this may not solve the problem of open drug misuse in the area.

“The bigger problem is that this will just move them from one area to another. We need to look at other initiatives: I find it very strange that we have the ongoing campaigns against drinking, speeding and various other subjects, yet when it comes to the whole area of drugs, there is no campaign at national level to try and get people to realise the danger of them,” he explained.

The Limerick Civic Trust has carried out a clean-up of the area.

But there has been criticism of Limerick City Council, with many people feeling that it is their role to get rid of the substances which have been dumped.

However, Cllr Gilligan defended the local authority, saying: “In Limerick City Council, we have people we can contact who come out and pick up these needles.”

The councillor works in St Mary’s AID and says when people in his centre see needles, they are marked, with Limerick City Council then coming to pick them up on receipt of a phone call from the centre.