Concerns over antisocial behaviour at cemetery

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

BARE-KNUCKLE boxing bouts, sex in public and underage drinking are all being witnessed by stressed office workers overlooking an ancient graveyard in the city centre.

BARE-KNUCKLE boxing bouts, sex in public and underage drinking are all being witnessed by stressed office workers overlooking an ancient graveyard in the city centre.

In a blow to the community around the ancient St Michael’s graveyard, who are currently engaged in daily clean-ups as part of a tidy towns competition, repeated occurrences of shocking and violent anti-social behaviour in the graveyard have driven neighbouring businesses and residents to despair over recent months.

Several businesses in the Michael Street area contacted the Limerick Leader about the incidents, the most recent of which was an organised bare-knuckle boxing match between two youths which took place in broad daylight, watched by more than 25 teenagers, estimated at aged between 14-16 years of age.

Over the past few months gravestones have been broken and rocks thrown at cars, windows and car parks in the area, youths have been observed in various intoxicated states, syringes have been found and courting couples have displayed a flagrant disregard for onlookers by conducting their actions in broad daylight.

The gardai have been called to the area several times in recent weeks.

However, a core group of youths and troublemakers seem to be returning every day, according to the office workers in the area.

The site is maintained by Limerick Civic Trust, whose director, Dr James Ring, admitted that the body was “hugely frustrated” with the actions of the gang of teenagers. While explaining that a team of workers regularly engage in clean-up operations at the ancient graveyard, Dr Ring stressed that the organisation was “not responsible” for the site, and said he was unsure who was responsible for it.