Teenage gang battle seasoned criminals to control drug trade

A gang of teenagers is battling with more seasoned criminals in a power struggle over the control of crime and drugs on Limerick City’s northside.

The disclosure came yesterday at a meeting of Limerick’s joint policing committee.

Concerns over the gang follow a shooting incident at house in the Delmege Park area of Moyross last week, when five shots were fired from a semi-automatic handgun into the front sitting-room window.

It is believed the shooting and an incident the previous week, when a man was attacked with a slash-hook in Pineview Gardens, Moyross, are connected to the murder of Robert Sheahan in Sep 2012.

Speaking at yesterday’s meeting in Limerick City Hall, Sinn Féin councillor Maurice Quinlivan warned the “gang on the northside” was made up of teenagers who have access to weapons.

“There is concern that there is a gang establishing itself on the northside with young members, aged 17, 18, and 19 and they have access to weapons. It seems to be a gang feud that’s starting to emerge in the area. Basically, it’s about the control of drugs and the control of crime in the area, where a cohort of youngsters are taking on older people involved in the trade,” he said.

“Gardaí are aware of it and a lot of resources are being devoted to it. Limerick has had enough problems with gang warfare and we need to stamp this out. There are fears of other shootings about to take place,” he said.

According to Chief Supt Dave Sheahan, there is a very strong presence of gardaí in the Moyross area at the moment.

One man was arrested following last week shootings and a “further arrest will possibly emanate from the same” he added.

Addressing the meeting Chief Supt Sheahan said both the Moyross and O’Malley Park areas of Limerick have been flash points for gardaí recently but he insisted a “proactive response” has taken place in respect of both parts of the city.

The recent arrest of five people in connection with ongoing criminal activity in the Southill area has “quelled” the situation on the southside, he added.

In his report on crime and traffic details from Dec 2012 to Feb 2013, Chief Supt Sheahan revealed significant declines in crime for the Limerick region.

The meeting heard there have been no murders in Limerick this year, and other crimes against the person, including non-aggravated sexual assault, are down 61%.

“The one big plus is that there has been no murder in Limerick since January of 2012 and that’s not Limerick city, that’s city and county. That has to be a major positive. I think most of the key indicators, particularly the burglary, have shown a decrease, that’s very positive.”

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