Limerick City Council set to move entrance to St Patrick’s GAA Club after assault

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Cllr John Gilligan: confident incident will not be repeated
A CITY councillor says he is “pretty confident” there will not be a repeat of an incident which led to the assault of an under-16 GAA coach.

A CITY councillor says he is “pretty confident” there will not be a repeat of an incident which led to the assault of an under-16 GAA coach.

The council has put in place a working group to deal with the problems which have recently come to the fore surrounding the Rhebogue Halting Site, and the St Patrick’s GAA field which lie next to one another.

A member of the halting site carried out a slash-hook attack on the coach, in full view of the players.

Now, Chief Superintendent David Sheahan has joined Sgt Ollie Kennedy, area representatives, and city management - including manager Conn Murray - at a forum to discuss how to prevent similar incidents happening.

A number of short and long-term proposals have been put in place, and will be discussed with the community next week.

This includes the re-siting of the entrances to St Patrick’s GAA club, and improving pedestrian access.

Cllr Gilligan says this will help, because it will often mean young school children are not walking past the halting site.

“We feel this would be an enormous help in the near future. I think this is necessary to do. One of the problems is everybody has to pass the halting site to get in the club. There is another way where you do not pass the halting site. We believe a pedestrian entrance, particularly for schoolboys should be looked at,” he told the Limerick Leader.

There was due to be a meeting with the GAA club on Tuesday night, but this was cancelled.

Instead, local representatives will meet with the community to discuss the incident next month.

Councillor Gilligan says these plans are only “to keep the show on the road”, and ultimately he would like to see the halting site closed for good.

A Traveller plan, due out next year, is to examine its long term viability.

“I believe if we can get suitable alternative accommodation for the Travellers - which are acceptable to them - then this is what I would be looking at,” he said, “I will be sitting down and taking a long hard look at it.”

The Independent councillor says it is first important to engage with the residents of the site.

“We have to work out who is on the site legally. If there is anyone illegally on the site, they will have to be moved on. So we have explored all the different options. I believe we had a very constructive meting in that we took a look and recognised the rights of all involved. I believe working together, we can have a significant impact on the situation down there,” he added.

The monthly meeting of Limerick City Council was suspended last month, as councillors discussed the horrendous attack on the coach.

There, it was agreed that a special meeting be held, and a task force be put in place to initiate solutions to the problems which led to the assault.