THE troubled Limerick estates of Moyross and Southill continue to be “on the boil” after a number of shootings and an attack involving a slash-hook in both Regeneration areas.
Chief Superintendent Dave Sheahan, speaking at a Joint Policing meeting in Limerick’s City Hall this week, highlighted an “upsurge of violent activity” in these areas, even though crime across the city is down.
Five shots were fired from a semi-automatic handgun through the front sitting room window at a house in the Delmege Park area of Moyross last week.
“There’s a very strong presence of gardai over there and we’re carrying out a lot of searches at the moment. One person has been arrested and was released without charge. Further arrests will possibly emanate from same,” said Chief Supt Sheahan.
The arrest of five people in connection with criminal activity in the Southill area had “quelled the impetus” in that situation, he added.
He said the incidents regarding the shootings and the attack on a man with a slash-hook, which took place a week earlier, are related and are under investigation. It is believed both incidents are connected to the murder of Robert Sheahan in September 2012. Sinn Fein city councillor Maurice Quinlivan said people in the northside are concerned about the emergence of a “dangerous criminal gang”, as young as 17,18 and 19.
“People are very worried about the nature of this gang going forward and the violence they could inflict,” he said.
Cllr Quinlivan said the gang have access to weapons and this new feud is “about the control of drugs and the control of crime.”
“This is a younger cohort taking on older people involved in the trade. The gardai are aware of the situation and have devoted resources to it. We need to stamp this out. There are fears of other shootings about to take place.”
However, major crime across the city is down. “There’s been no murder in Limerick since January of last year, and that’s in Limerick city and county. That’s a major positive. Most of the key indicators are showing a decrease [in crime].”
Presenting the figures for the last quarter, from December 2012 to this February, it was noted that sexual assaults in the city are down 61%, and charges for possessing offensive weapons are down 34%.
Criminal damage and public order offences are down 20%, drugs and weapons offences are down 34%, and traffic collisions are down 22%.
The Chief Supt said there has also been a “major reduction” in the unauthorised taking of cars, following Operation Alloy. These offences are down 23% in the last three months.