Concerned Limerick councillor claims drug dealing in estate where crime gangs operate is worse than ever
‘Fourteen years on, it’s absolutely horrifying and if it were to happen in another more affluent area, I doubt it would be tolerated’
A Limerick councillor has claimed that drug dealing in St Mary’s Park is worse now than 14 years ago. FILE PHOTO
October 22 2021 10:28 AM
A Limerick councillor has claimed that drug dealing in a local community where the Keane and Collopy organised crime gangs operate is worse now than before it was earmarked for regeneration.
Labour councillor Conor Sheehan told a special meeting of the Metropolitan District that little has changed in St Mary’s Park even though it was assigned a social and physical regeneration project in 2007.
The estate, known as The Island Field, is where the Keane and Collopy gangs are now operating independently of each other although they are aligned against their rivals the Ryan McCarthy crime gang which based in Moyross.
Cllr Sheehan told the meeting that was held to discuss the Regeneration project that it was not good enough that 14 years after it was launched there was still no community centre for the area.
“We haven’t had a Regeneration meeting in months. The entire process has broken down, and I’m really concerned,” Cllr Sheehan was quoted in the Limerick Post.
“In fact, the community, in my view, and in the view of a lot of people living there, is that it has gotten worse — we have had problems with widespread and rampant open drug-taking and drug dealing.”
According to Cllr Sheehan, a relative who lives near the estate cannot access a local walkway “without side-stepping people taking drugs or who are very unwell having taken drugs”.
“Fourteen years on, it’s absolutely horrifying and if it were to happen in another more affluent area, I doubt it would be tolerated.”
According to the Post, Limerick Garda Division Chief Superintendent Gerry Roche sanctioned Operation Copóg to target drug dealing in the estate in March.
Garda patrols were increased and resources were applied specifically to the area.
A Garda spokesperson told the Post that Operation Copóg is an ongoing Garda operation targeting the sale and supply of controlled drugs and anti-social behaviour in the St Mary’s Park Area of Limerick City.
“This Operation utilises resources across various uniform and plain clothes units,” the spokesperson added#.
“An Garda Síochána are also liaising with numerous stakeholders in the area to assist with the goals of this operation including Limerick City and County Council
Newly appointed head of Regeneration Joe Delaney told the meeting that his team were engaging with the community in St Mary’s Park with a view to providing a community centre in the estate.
He said that an exit strategy was being formulated, and that individual projects in the four Regeneration areas would continue to be funded on approval by the respective department.