West Limerick, at Halloween, was like Scenes from War Torn Beirut? Gangs of Youths, Terrorising, the Towns and Villages, Where are the Gardai?

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Councillor seeks extra garda resources after Halloween violence

 2nd November 2022

The chairman of a Limerick joint policing committee has said extra garda resources are “urgently needed” to deal with roaming gangs of youths in west Limerick towns and villages.

Fine Gael councillor Adam Teskey said “frightening” Halloween-night scenes were akin to conflict in “Beirut”.

Mr Teskey said the town of Newcastle West was turned into a war zone overnight as gangs of youths caused destruction and a man was filmed firing what appeared to be fireworks from a gun in the town.

The violent scenes in the town were filmed and shared across social media with one video showing a man who appeared to be firing explosive missiles or fireworks from a gun – believed to be a repeater rifle – in the town.

Gangs of youths were also filmed roaming through the streets and throwing wheelie bins and other missiles at cars.

Another violent scene captured on mobile phone video footage showed a group of people tipping over a car parked on a street in the town.

Mr Teskey, said: “It was like a scene from Beirut, it was frightening stuff.

“They caught a car below by the river and threw it up on its side, and then they were (throwing) public bins and throwing them at windscreens of cars.

“Anything they could find they were throwing at cars. ​

“What has come to the surface in our county towns and villages is absolutely nothing but the worst sort of vandalism imaginable.

“This is the sort of stuff you would watch on the news in other countries.

“I might have to call a special meeting of the JPC (joint policing committee) because of the way things are going.”

Mr Teskey said there were not enough garda resources in west Limerick to effectively deal with gangs of youths who have been causing mayhem in local towns and villages including Newcastle West and Askeaton.

“People feel completely let down, that this act of criminal behaviour seems to be manifesting into society in a huge way. It seems the systems that are in place currently to deal with juveniles are letting us down.

“The Garda JLO (Juvenile Liaisons Officer) system, whereby people under the age of 18 are referred… it needs to be overhauled.”

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