Southill priest says there was 'truth at the core' of Prime Time programme on troubled Limerick estates

AN RTE expose of life on City Council estates may have been "unbalanced and negative" but has "truth at its core", according to Southill priest Fr Pat Hogan.

AN RTE expose of life on City Council estates may have been "unbalanced and negative" but has "truth at its core", according to Southill priest Fr Pat Hogan.

Prime Time Investigates has been condemned in some quarters as yet another "hatchet job" on Limerick but Fr Hogan said that instead of railing against the programme makers, official Limerick and all its citizens should examine how they were "complicit" in allowing social problems to develop.

"It's not the first time for such eruptions of anger at TV programmes regarding Limerick. Yes, there are lots of questions that could be asked about last week's programme regarding balance, the use of vulnerable people, even were the programme makers used themselves.

"But before we exhaust all our energy on TV programme makers, let us save some of it for some of our Limerick people," Fr Hogan says in a letter to the Limerick Leader.

Why did people not get angry, he says, when elderly people were driven from their homes by intimidation?

"For years many lived as if they were under siege, quietly watching from darkened windows, protecting their property all night, every night. But they grew tired, or found themselves physically attacked and surrendered their homes back to the City Council. Some were paid, some weren't.

"Last week's Prime Time programme did no favours for Limerick. It may have been unbalanced, all negative, but there is a truth at its core and we in Limerick need to face up to it and say we want a better city with these issues faced up to – people protected, children nurtured and the lawless told 'you don't do it here'," concluded Fr Hogan.