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How Do We Raise Children In Drug Infested Slums?

I AM writing this as an open letter to Mayor John Gilligan.
Following an interview which the parish priest of Southill gave to Pat Kenny recently re anti-social activity in our area, a circular (which you probably saw) was sent to all residents in our area.

The circular suggested that if we did not control our children, we would not be considered for a new house under the Regeneration programme. This circular was signed by Brendan Hayden of Limerick Regeneration and Anne Marie McMahon of an Garda Siochana.

Although I sympathise fully with any residents who may have had a window broken or were caused any annoyance by these young people, this circular infuriated me.

I have lived in Southill for nearly 40 years, and I would say that our estate was one of the most abused and/or neglected estates in the country, and seems to have gotten worse since the 'Regeneration' programme started.

My partner, through no fault of his own, has been unemployed since the Shannon Foundry closed. Southill has gone from a working class estate to a social welfare slum.

Over the years we have produced two Limerick mayors (your good self included). We had the biggest tenants association in the country and fought a long and sometimes bitter rent strike, which on a number of occasions resulted in families being evicted from their homes.

At one stage our association was condemned at Sunday mass for supporting family planning. I wonder does our present parish priest still support this Roman Catholic dogma.

Our estate became a recruitment ground for the IRA and is now a breeding ground for drug dealers and users.

When my 10-year old grandson asks, "Nana, why is the house next door all boarded up and the one on the other side a burned shell?", what do I tell him? How do I explain? How would you explain, Mayor Gilligan? Do I also tell him that the Celtic Tiger was just a greedy animal that never came near our area?

I have not got the answers Mayor Gilligan, but sending out threatening circulars is in my opinion a copout. Can you or any officials at Limerick City council advise me as to the best way to raise children in a drug infested slum?

Limerick Leader
- Published Date: 20 April 2009

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Limerick Regeneration Watch says:

Residents in regeneration areas were promised a dedicated Garda service in the Fitzgerald Report. This never happened and rather than restoring "confidence and stability" instead we got this letter. Click on the image to view.