LIMERICK’s London community have spoken of their “real fears”, “anger”, and disgust after four days of “the worst violence ever” in the British capital.
Some have seen the violence spreading first hand - with Limerick girl Susan Buckley saying she had experienced gangs passing by her home in Hackney, North London.
Others have seen the aftermath of the devastation, and have reported a sense of fear, and anxiety that more rioting could be on the way.
Hundreds of people from Limerick have crossed the Irish Sea in recent years to find work in England - with a large number emigrating to London.
And following this week’s violence, hoteliers, auctioneers and community leaders from County Limerick have seen their lives turned upside down, as rioting spread across London - and began to move further north, with Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol and Oxford also affected by the sickening actions this Wednesday.
The unrest - which started following a peaceful protest against the slaying of Mark Duggan in Tottenham in North East London - has led to hundreds of arrests, and millions of euro worth of damage to shops and communities. Thousands of extra police officers were brought onto the streets of London.
Murroe man Con Dee, the chairman of the Limerick Exiles Group, lives in Balham, South London, just a ten minute walk away from Clapham, where violence erupted on Monday night.
Having lived in London since 1963, Mr Dee believes this week’s unrest is the worst ever seen in London. He is scared to leave his home.
“I was here in the 1980s, when we had the Brixton riots, when I was burnt out of a job, because my company’s premises were burnt down. So I don’t hold any love for these people. It is very upsetting, but even before this, there was a lot of tension on the streets. This has been building up for a while,” he told the Limerick Leader.
Athea-born Tommy Moran, the general manager of the Crown Moran Hotels in Chiswick, West London, and the Cricklewood Moran Hotel in North London says trade has been hit, following the decision to cancel the England v Holland friendly soccer match at Wembley Stadium on safety grounds.
FOR MORE SEE THIS WEEKEND’S LIMERICK LEADER