Line on the map denies a Limerick community investment

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

A Regeneration map of the Ballinacurra Weston area of Limerick city and below, the coloured areas front right are included in Regeneration, but areas outside the red line lose out
A LINE on the map has led to divide in a southside community, councillors reported at the metropolitan area meeting.

A LINE on the map has led to divide in a southside community, councillors reported at the metropolitan area meeting.

Residents on the right hand side of the Hyde Road and the Hyde Avenue fall into the area of Ballinacurra Weston being regenerated.

Residents on the opposite side do not.

Now, the council is to write to Local Government Minister Alan Kelly in a bid to get this changed, so residents on both sides can benefit from the multi-million euro project.

Pressure will also be put on Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to reintroduce the 100 gardai brought in after the Fitzgerald Report, after Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon said he is certain they have gone.

City West councillor Joe Leddin, Labour, brought the issue of a community divide up during a discussion on regeneration.

He said: “There is a tale of two communities here. On the right hand side [of Hyde Road/Hyde Avenue] there is a regeneration area, and residents are getting a lot of work done. The left-hand side though is like a bombsite. There are decent people living there, and they all ask what is going on across the road. There is a lack of joined-up thinking here.”

Not only does the regeneration map cut off the left-hand side of the road, it is also the boundary line between the City West and City East constituencies, which councillors said led to election-time confusion.

City East Sinn Fein councillor Séighin Ó Ceallaigh said: “There is no jealousy or bitterness in Weston. These people would just like to see some kind of investment”.

His party colleague Cllr Malachy McCreesh said many areas not earmarked for regeneration are in bad need of help.

Cllr Leddin said it is time the council “got tough” on the issue of burnt out houses.

Singling out Weston, he said: “There are huge issues in relation to criminality and anti-social behaviour in these areas. Only last week, another home was burnt out. A lot of these are in private ownership. It is unfortunate for the people who live next door and have to endure this. We spend millions [tackling this], yet we have homes privately owned, and the owner is living in Honolulu or somewhere, and are not doing anything.”

But former detective garda, Cllr Sean Lynch, Fianna Fail, played down any problems in Weston, saying it is in a “good place at the moment” and offered to walk the area with Mr Kelly when he next comes to Limerick.

Cllr O’Hanlon said: “I am fairly sure the 100 extra guards brought in after the Fitzgerald report are gone at this stage. Last Tuesday at 8pm, there was a gang in a stolen car in Garryowen. It took me ten minutes to get through to Henry Street. I don’t care what the chief superintendent is saying: there is a lack of resources in Limerick.”

He proposed to write to Ms Fitzgerald, a stance backed up by his Fianna Fail colleague in Dooradoyle James Collins.