The Limerick Leader - Saturday, 23 January 2010.

Elderly Southill residents rehoused in Castletroy's Park Village after harassment

By Kerrie Kennedy

THIRTEEN elderly people and families are to be moved to Castletroy because of the anti-social behaviour they are experiencing in their Southill homes.

The Southside Regeneration Agency has confirmed that 13 apartments have been secured in the Park Village residential home for elderly victims of harassment in the Southill area.

Director of Southside Social Regeneration Brendan Hayden said that the people are being moved because they are at "very serious risk" in their current homes.

"The idea behind it is to help elderly people who are suffering and want to find some peace," Mr Hayden said.

To date, one person has been successfully moved from her home in Keyes Park to the residential village in Castletroy.

"The abuse of that resident was so serious we felt she would have died of a heart-attack if we did not get her out when we did," Mr Hayden said.

He confirmed that a number of elderly people from Keyes Park were interested in moving, as were three other families from Carew Park.

The move to Castletroy Park Village, which is partially funded by the Department of the Environment, will provide elderly victims of anti-social behaviour with a "safer home" that they can afford, according to Mr Hayden.

He said that moving people out was the only option as the majority of the harassment is coming from children who cannot be prosecuted.

This is due to the current law which prevents children under the age of 12 being charged for committing crimes and engaging in anti-social behaviour.

Southill parish priest Father Pat Hogan said that there is an urgent need for a change in the law regarding children under 12, and that the Health Service Executive (HSE) needs to be more proactive in helping the families of these children. "Some of these young children start losing their way as early as eight and nine and are wreaking havoc on the area, they badly need direction," Fr Hogan said.

"The current law needs to be changed so that these children or their parents are held responsible for their actions and the HSE must be more proactive locally in working alongside the parents of these children because they desperately need help," Fr Hogan added.

The Southill parish priest said that moving elderly residents to Castletroy is only a temporary measure until the Regeneration Agency builds them more suitable homes nearer to Southill.