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    ST Article - A tale of two cities

    The Sunday Times December 31, 2006

    Focus: A tale of two cities
    Regeneration and Munster rugby’s triumph should have raised spirits in Limerick, but undermining all the good news is the cancer of gang violence, writes Brian Carroll

    When Anthony “Noddy” McCarthy was convicted of murdering Limerick crime boss Kieran Keane in 2003, he stared at Keane’s relatives in the public gallery and said: “For every action there’s a reaction. You just remember that.”

    Newton’s third law of motion is still at play in Ireland’s third city.

    No matter what the city does, for every positive action such as the Munster rugby team’s Heineken Cup triumph in May, there seems to be an equal and opposite reaction, such as the unprecedented arson attack on two young children in Moyross.

    This year should have marked the city’s proudest moment. The victorious players, the coach and the fans in Cardiff were unanimous: the sight of such support on the streets of Limerick had been a huge, perhaps even critical boost.

    But crime, Limerick’s less savoury specialisation, came to cast its shadow over the spoils of victory. Within a couple of days a body was found dumped near the Shannon Bridge. Limerick was back in the headlines for more familiar reasons.

    THE Munster Rugby Supporters Club distributed 120,000 song cards with the words of Stand Up and Fight on one side and The Fields of Athenry on the other in the days prior to the Heineken Cup final. On the Friday before the match, every office, shop and school in Limerick city held a Munster Red Day. Cork, the other supposed home of Munster rugby was, by comparison, positively anaemic in its support.

    Unlike Cork, with its successful hurlers and soccer players, the Limerick supporter has only one outlet for county pride: Munster rugby. It’s a support rooted in defiance as much as belief. Defiance of the odds and of Dublin, with its Leinster-centric media and national team selectors who, until recently, seemed to ignore Munster in favour of lesser players from Leinster or, worse, Ulster.

    The same defiance is at the root of most people’s response to violent crime in the city. Researchers on RTE know only too well that any attempt to blacken the name of an entire city because of the mindless actions of a minority is met with fierce defiance. But it’s a defiance of reality.

    Limerick may have less gangland killings than Dublin — four in 2006 — but there is no other city in Ireland where criminals are so hardened they would set fire to two children.

    On September 10, thugs poured petrol into the back of Sheila Murray’s car, where Millie, 6, and Gavin, 4, were sitting, and set the children alight. A month later the children’s home was firebombed. If Limerick was to print 120,000 cards to describe the city in 2006, they’d have to put Munster captain Paul O’Connell on one side and Gavin and Millie on the other.

    The two children are back in Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin, having been allowed out for three days over Christmas. Their mother has since been rehoused on Cratloe Road in Limerick, but her estranged partner, Niall McNamara, remains homeless.

    “I’m not in a feud with anyone. I have never been into drugs,” McNamara said last week, while he tended to Gavin and Millie. “Nobody has explained to me why my children were burned, why my house was burned. For four and a half months I have been here in the hospital. I’m the one giving the children their baths with them screaming with the pain. I want to know why this happened.”

    The attack is possibly linked to a feud in another part of the city. In November, another Limerick child hit the headlines. Five-year-old Jordan Crawford was shot in the leg by gunmen intent on killing his uncle, Paul Crawford, a member of the McCarthy-Dundon gang. The gunmen, who were acting for the Keane-Collopy gang, couldn’t get Paul so they shot the boy with a
    Socialise your Nazism

    #2
    What a bizarre article. Is Gilligan implying it's impossible to get from
    Moyross or Southill to a factory in Raheen? People who are unemployed
    seem to be making a concious decision to be unemployed at the
    minute, considering the number of Poles finding work in Limerick and
    elsewhere in the country.

    Mistakes were made in setting up Southill and Moyross, but it wasn't
    just external factors that led to the problems there.

    However, it does highlight the damage illegal drug use is doing to the
    country, something middle class drug users are reluctant to blame
    themselves for.
    It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

    Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win

    Comment


      #3
      I suspect Gilligan is more interested in increasing the volume of rates that the city council can collect than seriously tackling the problem. And how on earth did his research tell him that there were no drugs in the city in 1991?[img]smileys/shock.gif[/img]
      Socialise your Nazism

      Comment


        #4
        No, Gilligan is a good councillor from what I've heard. I think he
        represents the Island, where heroin is supposedly becoming a big
        problem, so he'd know more than most about the damage being done.

        I presume he meant the drugs trade wasn't being run from Limerick in
        1991?

        What gets me is that the area, the Midwest/Shannon region, is making
        huge strides forward, whether it's UL growing week by week, or the
        continuing growth of Shannon or anything really, everywhere you look
        there's something happening, and yet every, single, Goddamn story has
        to focus on less then a 100 people in 3 estates.
        It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

        Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win

        Comment


          #5

          Originally posted by JoeyFantastic
          No, Gilligan is a good councillor from what I've heard. I think he

          represents the Island, where heroin is supposedly becoming a big

          problem, so he'd know more than most about the damage being done.


          Fair enough, I'll take your word for it that he's decent. I haven't been on the electoral register in Limerick for a while, so I don't know a lot about the local politicians anymore. It just seemed to be a strange thing to focus on, and I cannot see how the major industries being in the County Council rates area has anything to do with heroin.
          Socialise your Nazism

          Comment


            #6


            Because as you know Joe, the activities of those 100 people sell far more newspapers and gain far more viewers than stories about economic regeneration and growth ever will.


            I like Gilligan, but suggesting that people can't get to the new industrial areas from the city is ridiculous. Many do and those who aren't bothered will be when Dell start paying as much as heroin does.
            "It’s not the team you support, it’s the club you should support. The team on the pitch will ebb and flow because that’s the nature of sport. No team has ever been successful decade on decade. The club has the history and that’s the passion you should have."

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Scenic
              Originally posted by JoeyFantastic
              No, Gilligan is a good councillor from what
              I've heard. I think he
              represents the Island, where heroin is supposedly becoming a big
              problem, so he'd know more than most about the damage being
              done.
              Fair enough, I'll take your word for it that he's decent. I
              haven't been on the electoral register in Limerick for a while, so I
              don't know a lot about the local politicians anymore. It just seemed
              to be a strange thing to focus on, and I cannot see how the major
              industries being in the County Council rates area has anything to do
              with heroin.
              Strange comments alright, but then it's a strange article.

              The boundary extension is needed for many genuine reasons though.
              It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

              Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Jenta

                Because as you know Joe, the activities of those
                100 people sell far more newspapers and gain far more viewers than
                stories about economic regeneration and growth ever will.


                I like Gilligan, but suggesting that people can't get to the new
                industrial areas from the city is ridiculous. Many do and those who
                aren't bothered will be when Dell start paying as much as heroin
                does.
                Same old story I guess.

                I'd love to know just how many "random" people have been killed by
                the various feuds, the numbers seem surprisingly low. Were we to
                take away the feud related stats out of Limerick crime figures (which
                are actually consistently below the national mean) I wonder what
                we'd see?
                It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

                Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win

                Comment


                  #9


                  Originally posted by JoeyFantastic
                  However, it does highlight the damage illegal drug use is doing to the
                  country, something middle class drug users are reluctant to blame
                  themselves for
                  .

                  Exactly ......[img]smileys/thumb-up.gif[/img]
                  \" 220 horses, i gotta gun, a siren, a tank full of city gas....DON\'T YOU LOVE IT\"

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by bedstuybosco


                    Originally posted by JoeyFantastic
                    However, it does highlight the damage illegal drug use is doing to the
                    country, something middle class drug users are reluctant to blame
                    themselves for
                    .

                    Exactly ......[img]smileys/thumb-up.gif[/img]





                    Yes, I agree 100%.
                    =========================
                    \"Our Association cannot be expected to accept a vista where the competing sporting organisations have no capital investment commitments, can exploit the value of their existing infrastructure and use our facilities as a cash cow, while investing their returns in games development\" - Liam Mulvihill.

                    Comment


                      #11


                      Originally posted by JoeyFantastic
                      No, Gilligan is a good councillor from what I've heard. I think he
                      represents the Island, where heroin is supposedly becoming a big
                      problem, so he'd know more than most about the damage being done.

                      I presume he meant the drugs trade wasn't being run from Limerick in
                      1991?

                      What gets me is that the area, the Midwest/Shannon region, is making
                      huge strides forward, whether it's UL growing week by week, or the
                      continuing growth of Shannon or anything really, everywhere you look
                      there's something happening, and yet every, single, Goddamn story has
                      to focus on less then a 100 people in 3 estates
                      .

                      I doubt its less than a 100. There are 3200 prison places in ireland according to RTE. I'd say at a very conservative estimate there are 100 (3%) of these occupied by limerick criminals at any one time


                      http://www.rte.ie/news/2004/0506/print/prisonofficers.html


                      Obviously its guesswork but if there is 100 in jail and still a lot of crime on the outside then your looking at least 3 - 400 ranging from petty thieves to minor dealers to gangsters. Not an insiginificant number and its not going to go away by pretendingthey arentthere.
                      My computer thinks I'm gay
                      What's the difference anyway
                      When all the people do all day
                      Is stare into a phone

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by CCHA
                        Originally posted by bedstuybosco


                        Originally posted by JoeyFantastic
                        However, it does highlight the damage illegal drug use is doing to the
                        country, something middle class drug users are reluctant to blame
                        themselves for
                        .

                        Exactly ......[img]smileys/thumb-up.gif[/img]





                        Yes, I agree 100%.


                        I have to disagree, these perpetrators of the violence are always going to be involved in illegal activites no matter what they are...

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by sewa


                          Originally posted by JoeyFantastic
                          No, Gilligan is a good councillor from what I've heard. I think he
                          represents the Island, where heroin is supposedly becoming a big
                          problem, so he'd know more than most about the damage being done.

                          I presume he meant the drugs trade wasn't being run from Limerick in
                          1991?

                          What gets me is that the area, the Midwest/Shannon region, is making
                          huge strides forward, whether it's UL growing week by week, or the
                          continuing growth of Shannon or anything really, everywhere you look
                          there's something happening, and yet every, single, Goddamn story has
                          to focus on less then a 100 people in 3 estates
                          .

                          I doubt its less than a 100. There are 3200 prison places in ireland according to RTE. I'd say at a very conservative estimate there are 100 (3%) of these occupied by limerick criminals at any one time


                          http://www.rte.ie/news/2004/0506/print/prisonofficers.html


                          Obviously its guesswork but if there is 100 in jail and still a lot of crime on the outside then your looking at least 3 - 400 ranging from petty thieves to minor dealers to gangsters. Not an insiginificant number and its not going to go away by pretendingthey arentthere.


                          Are you serious ??? I would have thought that there is a lot more than that !
                          \"As she lay there dozing next to me, one voice inside my head kept saying, \'Relax, you\'re not the first doctor to sleep with one of his patients\', but the another kept reminding me, \' you are a veterinarian!\'\"

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by sewa

                            Originally posted by JoeyFantastic
                            No, Gilligan is a good
                            councillor from what I've heard. I think he represents the Island,
                            where heroin is supposedly becoming a big problem, so he'd know
                            more than most about the damage being done. I presume he meant
                            the drugs trade wasn't being run from Limerick in 1991? What gets
                            me is that the area, the Midwest/Shannon region, is making huge
                            strides forward, whether it's UL growing week by week, or the
                            continuing growth of Shannon or anything really, everywhere you
                            look there's something happening, and yet every, single, [b]
                            Goddamn story has to focus on less then a 100 people in 3 estates[/
                            B].

                            I doubt its less than a 100. There are 3200 prison places in ireland
                            according to RTE. I'd say at a very conservative estimate there are
                            100 (3%) of these occupied by limerick criminals at any one time


                            <a href="http://www.rte.ie/news/2004/0506/print/pris&#111;nofficers.html" target="_blank">
                            http://www.rte.ie/news/2004/0506/print/prisonofficers.html</a>


                            Obviously its guesswork but if there is 100 in jail and still a lot of
                            crime on the outside then your looking at least 3 - 400 ranging from
                            petty thieves to minor dealers to gangsters. Not an insiginificant
                            number and its not going to go away by pretending*they arent*there.
                            The Garda super estimated there was 100 people involved in some
                            way with the drugs feuds in the city, not sure if you know more than
                            the Gardai on this one, but feel free to share.
                            It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

                            Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by sewa


                              Originally posted by JoeyFantastic
                              No, Gilligan is a good councillor from what I've heard. I think he
                              represents the Island, where heroin is supposedly becoming a big
                              problem, so he'd know more than most about the damage being done.

                              I presume he meant the drugs trade wasn't being run from Limerick in
                              1991?

                              What gets me is that the area, the Midwest/Shannon region, is making
                              huge strides forward, whether it's UL growing week by week, or the
                              continuing growth of Shannon or anything really, everywhere you look
                              there's something happening, and yet every, single, Goddamn story has
                              to focus on less then a 100 people in 3 estates
                              .

                              I doubt its less than a 100. There are 3200 prison places in ireland according to RTE. I'd say at a very conservative estimate there are 100 (3%) of these occupied by limerick criminals at any one time


                              http://www.rte.ie/news/2004/0506/print/prisonofficers.html


                              Obviously its guesswork but if there is 100 in jail and still a lot of crime on the outside then your looking at least 3 - 400 ranging from petty thieves to minor dealers to gangsters. Not an insiginificant number and its not going to go away by pretendingthey arentthere.


                              i think the 100 or less refers to violent gang member types.theres lots of people in prison who dont fall into that category.


                              also may i jsut take umbrage at his uncalled for attack on the limerick hurlers,we're not that bloody bad,we're just going through a lean spell,thats all!


                              hurlings as strong as rugby in limerick
                              g\'wan bruff!!

                              ``The answer is not heavy- handed regulations that crush the entrepreneurial spirit and risk- taking of American capitalism. That\'s what\'s made our economy great.\"
                              -Barack Obama


                              \"The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics\"
                              -thomas sowell

                              Comment

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