A JOINT taskforce has been established to support and assist members of the community living in the St Mary's Park area of Limerick city.
An Garda Síochána and Limerick City and County Council have come together as part of Operation Copóg.
Four new community gardaí have been assigned to the operation that is solely focused on drugs and anti-social behaviour in the area. They will be deployed on high visibility patrols to increase community engagement, deter drug activity and assist the local community in St Mary's Park.
In addition to the increased garda presence, the operation will also see the local authority focus on a series of projects in the coming weeks.
This included the demolition of 12 derelict houses on St Munchin’s Street and the demolition of a derelict premises formerly operating as a takeway
Any unauthorised structures on Council-owned land and open spaces in St Munchin’s Street will also be removed as part of Operation Copóg.
Palisade fencing in the area will also be removed to improve the appearance of the street.
Launching the operation Chief Superintendent Gerard Roche said: "We are 100% focused on stopping drug dealing and anti-social behaviour in all parts of Limerick. Unfortunately some of the derelict buildings in the St Mary's Park area have attracted drug use and we intend on stamping this out with the help of the Council and the local community. Drugs have such a negative impact on so many lives and have no place in our community. We would ask that if you notice any drug activity, that you report it to gardaí immediately.”
Dr Pat Daly, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council added: "We are accelerating our plans in St Mary’s Park and by working together we can support the residents of St Mary’s Park, who deserve to be free from the twin scourges of drugs and anti-social behaviour. The Council will play its part in helping to improve the environment in St Mary’s Park and I’m also calling on the private owners of derelict properties to engage with the Council to develop a plan for their development."
Dr Daly says the council also needs the support of the residents and it is asking them to report any incidents of criminal activity or anti-social behaviour, so they can be dealt with.”
Throughout operation Copóg, Limerick City and County Council will be liaising with residents through the local Regeneration Committee regarding the work programme.
Limerick City and County Council staff will also be liaising with gardaí on daily basis regarding the operation.