Limerick crime book a hit despite local reservations

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

Crime journalist and author Paul Williams with his former lecturer David Rice at the book signing in O'Mahony's on Saturday
HUNDREDS of people attended the book signing by crime journalist Paul Williams in Limerick on Saturday, but some members of the public have called for the store to be boycotted until the book is removed from its shelves.

HUNDREDS of people attended the book signing by crime journalist Paul Williams in Limerick on Saturday, but some members of the public have called for the store to be boycotted until the book is removed from its shelves.

Entitled Murder Inc, the 385-page account of the explosion of crime in Limerick from the 1990s on has drawn criticism from the public, who would prefer the city was seen in a new light, especially during its current term as City of Culture, which will soon draw to a close after a €6m spend.

Hundreds of people, including former mayor of Limerick John Gilligan and Fianna Fail justice spokesman Niall Collins, attended the signing, where people queued for over an hour to meet the award-winning journalist.

The book is number two in O’Mahony’s current bestsellers’ list - second only to The Test by rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll, and co-written by Limerick Leader editor Alan English.

Deputy Collins told the Limerick Leader that Mr Williams “tells the story as it is, and shouldn’t be criticised for that.”

David Rice, who lectured Mr Williams on journalism in the Rathmines school and now resides in Killaloe, said he is very proud of his former pupil for the courage he has shown in standing up to criminal gangs. However, barrister and councillor Emmett O’Brien took to the local airwaves, following Mr Williams’ appearance on The Late Late Show on Friday night, saying the same crime stories are continually being “rehashed”, and there was no mention of the drop in the murder rate in Limerick city.

O’Mahony’s booksellers on O’Connell Street also faced calls on its Facebook page for the store to be boycotted unless the book is removed from its shelves. Limerick author Helena Close wrote: “This book does not deserve to be in the window of your bookshop. I find it insulting and demeaning to give prominence to a person who seems hell bent on regurgitating old news to make a quick buck for Christmas. He is no expert on my city, on crime in my city and certainly is unfit to speak of rugby after last night’s Late Late.”

Local photographer Darren Ryan also said he wouldn’t be be purchasing anything in their store until this book is removed.

“He’s making a personal profit off the misery that the good citizens of Limerick have had to endure and its disrespectful to the many victims of these gangs. It also helps perpetuate the image of the City that many have worked so hard to better in this the City Of Culture year.”