POLITICIANS in Limerick have rejected RTE’s interpretation of the city as a ‘kip’, on its hit drama series Love/Hate.
Former Defence Minister Willie O’Dea has condemned the comments - made by the character Nidge - while the chairman of the cultural committee, Cllr Michael Hourigan said the depiction is no longer representative of Limerick.
Gangster Nidge said when responding to a Latvian prostitute who had just returned from a trip to Limerick, “Bet you’re glad to see the back of that kip”.
Mr O’Dea has called on RTE to clarify the comment in the popular drama, describing it as “grossly unfair and wrong”, adding “People in Limerick feel very aggrieved by it.”
Cllr Hourigan said: “Our city over the last four or five years has moved forward enormously. The Garda Siochana has done an excellent job in reducing crime. A lot of the people who caused the negative attention are now behind bars in Portlaoise. I have great faith that we will be able to maintain Limerick to the high standard we are achieving at the moment.”
Mr O’Dea believes the comments were even more damaging, because they were made by gangster Nidge.
“It is the writer’s fault. These were lazy throwaway lines thrown out by people outside Limerick to entertain the public.”
He added that it is Dublin, as opposed to Limerick which has a problem with gangland crime.
“All the major Limerick gangland figures are locked up which is more than I can say for gang leaders in Dublin. We have corrected the situation down here, the gangs have been put down and the gardai have control in Limerick,” he said.
It is not the first time in recent months that a media outlet has made negative remarks about Limerick City.
The London Evening Standard, in an editorial about the Gay Games - which Limerick was also seeking to host - described the city as a “small town in the west of Ireland with a serious violent crime problem”. In the event, London lost out on its bid to host the 2018 games to Paris.