GARDAI have arrested “a number of males aged 20 and 21” for criminal damage after a number of graffiti attacks in the city.
But two of the man taken in for questioning have expressed little remorse for their actions – and said they did it because there is not enough for them to do in the city.
A garda spokesperson confirmed the matter is still under investigation following the arrests earlier this week.
However, two young men this Wednesday afternoon visited the Limerick Leader offices after they claimed the gardai told them to do so.
They declined to give their names, but admitted they were responsible for much of the graffiti which has emerged in the city – and on road signs on the approaches.
One of the pair, from Killaloe, said the reason he keeps daubing premises in a distinctive red pattern is because he is “addicted” to it.
He admitted he gets a boost when he sees the damage he has caused highlighed in the newspaper.
“In my opinion, there are not a lot of things for young people to do in Limerick. [When you do this] people start talking to you, they want to know you, and young people look up to you,” the 19-year-old, who has been arrested four times previously for damaging property with graffiti, said.
Asked how he felt to have caused damage to properties and shop-fronts in the city, he added: “We would not really think about it. I do feel a little bad after it. I know if someone spray painted my mother’s house I would take it badly. But at the time, you just think about the design you want to do – you don’t think about the consequences until afterwards.”
He added that the authorities should allow them to paint a mural on some of the alleys in the city.
“We could do a lot of good things with these alleys, but their choice is to get rid of it [the graffiti] altogether,” he added.
but their choice is to get rid of it altogether.
Another man, who hails from Weston, said he has been arrested twice previously for vandalism.
He said he felt some remorse after he spray painted premises, but this was overruled by the addiction he feels to doing it.
He said: “I feel bad after it. When you are out doing it, you don’t want to stop. You can never stop, it is an addiction. Like a drug to me. Like a rush through your body.”
Auctioneer Pat Kearney, whose back door in Post Office Lane was defaced, was unimpressed with their explanation.
He described it as “nothing more than selfish vandalism.”
“You have to show respect to other people’s properties, you have to show respect and pride in the city of Limerick which they are destroying by spraying on shop fronts,” Mr Kearney said. He described claims there is not enough for youngsters to do as “a cop out”.
Sgt Brian Broderick, Henry Street garda station, warned spraying graffiti on walls and road signs is a criminal offence, and carries a penalty of up to 12 months imprisonment.