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What does regeneration really mean? Keep asking questions!

Limerick Regeneration: The Story So Far
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In October 2006
Former Dublin City Manager, John Fitzgerald, was appointed by the government to lead an initiative to address issues of social exclusion and crime and disorder in Moyross and other estates.

His appointment was prompted by a horrendous attack on two children in Moyross the previous September that shocked the nation. Six-year-old Millie and her little Four-year old brother Gavin Murray are lucky to be alive after they became human fireballs when their mother's car was doused with petrol and set alight while they were inside. The attack took place because their mother had refused to give someone a lift to the courthouse 10 minutes earlier. Two teenagers were later charged and convicted.

In April 2007, the Fitzgerald Report was published to great acclaim. It recommended the regeneration of Moyross, St Mary's Park, Southill and Ballinacurra Weston. This was to take place over a 5-year period and would involve the demolition of over 3,000 homes.

It also recommended that in the short term, "confidence and stability" should be restored in the Communities with the establishment of a dedicated Garda service for areas targeted for regeneration. This never happened

In June 2007, the Government established a Regeneration Board and appointed members from various agencies. Residents are not properly represented on this Board, which will ultimately decide what happens.

In September 2007 the Limerick Regeneration Agencies opened their doors to the public. There was a sense of hope and expectation about the proposed regeneration. Residents Forums were set up and Residents committees were established.

In January 2008, President Mary McAleese launched the Northside and Southside 'Vision' documents.

On 28th October 2008 the Regeneration Agencies presented 'Limerick Regeneration (A Vision for Moyross, Southill & Ballinacurra Weston and St. Mary's Park)' to Limerick City Council. This is what is loosely called the 'Master Plan', even though it is subject to change.

On 27th October 2009, President Mary McAleese is wheeled out again by the Regeneration Agencies in an attempt to restore credibility. Our President 'opens' two community centres, one in Ballananty (not Moyross) and one in Southill, both of which had been open for over a year and neither of which had anything to do with regeneration. Indeed, the community centre in Southill is targeted for demolition in the 'Master Plan'.

Despite all the hype and over 3 years since the publication of the Fitzgerald Report many areas look worse than ever before. Limerick City Council is busily depopulating and boarding up perfectly good houses as people feel they have no choice but to leave.

Homeowners are paid a pittance for their homes and are turned back into tenants. Anti-social behaviour waxes and wanes. Illegal dumping is rife. The Public Health Inspectors reports are being ignored and the rats are thriving. It seems more like degeneration than regeneration.

In March 2010 it was admitted by the Regeneration Agency the their 'Master Plan' was not feasable and that a downscaled version would be submitted to government for approval, which was done in May 2010.

On 17th June 2010 the government pledged €337 million for the next four years of the Limerick Regeneration Project. However much of this money will be spent on roads and displacing people. It is claimed that some sheltered housing units (48) will be built in Moyross and on the Southside in Edward St (20 units). The proposed Edward site is outside the legal remit of the Regeneration Agency.