Gardaí on full alert as latest victim brought to church

LIMERICK gardaí were last night on full alert in Moyross as the body of stab victim Darren Bennett was brought to the local Corpus Christi parish church.

Seven families were driven from their homes in the estate on Thursday night by a mob of violent teenagers who went on a rampage to avenge the death of the 18-year-old.

Three of the families needed protection from members of the garda armed response unit as they fled their homes.

There are unconfirmed reports that some of those who left Moyross in fear have travelled by ferry to Britain.

Two houses, one in Moyross and the other in nearby Ballynanty were set ablaze.

Gardaí will also put extra patrols in the estate today as the funeral of Darren Bennett takes place in Meelick.

Gangs of youths and girls attacked families they believe are linked to the man suspected of stabbing Darren Bennett at around 2am on Wednesday morning.

Armed gardaí patrolled the Creaval Park area of Moyross and only local residents were allowed to enter and leave that particular area of the estate. Supt Frank O’Brien appealed for calm.

He said: “The family of Darren Bennett do not want any retribution for his death and want to bury him in peace and don’t want his friends to do anything.”

While the murder of Darren Bennett is not connected to any ongoing feuds in the city, the dead teenager is understood to have family connections to a number of people known to be involved in one of the feuding gangs.

Some gang members embroiled in one such feud left floral tributes, bearing their names at the spot where Bennett was fatally stabbed.

Mayor John Gilligan said: “What has happened is a huge set back as things have been under control and policing was on top of the situation for the past 12 months.

“Nobody can guard against this type of incident and I recognise these things happen. We must have a robust garda response.”

Every effort, he said, must be made to apprehend those who burned down houses owned by the taxpayer.

Darren Bennett had a number of convictions in the district court where he was due to appear again on Wednesday.

Supt Frank O’Brien appealed for calm. He said: “The family of Darren Bennett do not want any retribution for his death and want to bury him in peace and don’t want his friends to do anything.” While the murder of Darren Bennett is not connected to any ongoing feuds in the city, the dead teenager is understood to have family connections to a number of people known to be involved in one of the feuding gangs. Some gang members embroiled in one such feud left floral tributes, bearing their names at the spot where Bennett was fatally stabbed. Mayor John Gilligan said: “What has happened is a huge set back as things have been under control and policing was on top of the situation for the past 12 months. “Nobody can guard against this type of incident and I recognise these things happen. We must have a robust garda response.” Every effort, he said, must be made to apprehend those who burned down houses owned by the taxpayer. Darren Bennett had a number of convictions in the district court where he was due to appear again on Wednesday.

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