Hearing: Judge Mary Larkin
A LARGE group of youths engaging in anti-social behaviour are causing so much fear in the Moyross area, locals are “praying for rain” to wash away weekly drinking parties, Limerick District Court has heard.
Evidence was heard during an exclusion order application, in which Limerick City and County Council wanted to completely remove a young man with “very serious” health issues from the Moyross community.
Judge Mary Larkin, presiding, heard that the council has received 50 complaints about the 22-year-old in relation to 26 incidents of assault, threats, anti-social behaviour, noise and nuisance, since 2015.
Patrick McDermott, tenancy enforcement officer, told the court that the defendant had been organising drinking parties with a large group of youths “causing a nuisance in the area”.
The council was represented by solicitor Ger Reidy. It was heard that the defendant, who suffers from vascular and kidney problems, is under his mother’s care.
On May 13, Mr McDermott met with the mother at City Hall to discuss the 23 complaints that the council had received. Some of these complaints included burn-ing of bins, verbal abuse, and an assault of a passerby.
After she assured the council that no further incidents would occur, the council warned her that “if this continued then the council would have to consider an exclusion order”.
The council received two further complaints by September 2015, and the council decided not to proceed with an exclusion order after the defendant wrote to the authority on December 4.
One particular complaint surrounded a “serious assault”. Defending solicitor, John Herbert said: “You don’t know the circumstances of these assaults, where he could have been attacked.”
By May 2016, the council had received an additional 21 complaints of similar nature.
Mr McDermott said: “They are causing fear in the area. We have people fearful of good weather, as it brings a crowd to the area. They are praying for rain.”
A further six complaints were received by April last.
Garda Stephen Noonan, of Mayorstone, said that the defendant has eight previous convictions and that the exclusion order was “fully supported” by gardaí.
Mr Herbert said that his client has “desisted” from drinking with the large group since 2016.
His mother said from the witness box that “his life went out of control and got involved with the wrong crowd” after he was forced to give up sports following a “massive clot” in his leg in 2010.
“I apologise, but excluding him from his family would absolutely destroy him.”
“Just give him a chance to turn his life around. He is not capable of looking after himself,” she added. She said that her son instead “goes to nightclubs” once a week.
Mr Herbert said that his client was “not able” to enter the witness box as “he will freeze”. Judge Mary Larkin replied: “Well, I wish he would freeze on Friday nights.”
She said: “Look it, we all go out one night a week, but we can’t be creating havoc in our neighbourhoods.”
Judge Larkin added: “My view is that he should be excluded from the area. If I am to make a stay on the order, I want to know what steps are being made.”
After an hour’s recess, Mr Herbert told the judge that the young man will attend Saoirse addiction services.
Judge Larkin said that she was putting a stay on the order, adjourning the matter until December 7.
“He has to understand that he can’t live with his mother if he continues to inflict his difficulties on the people who to wish to enjoy themselves in their homes.”