Limerick council urged to demolish drug den derelict houses 

Residents say the houses, some of which have been vacant for over three years, are attracting anti-social behaviour, criminal activity, and drug use
Limerick council urged to demolish drug den derelict houses 

Derelict houses in St Mary's Park, Limerick, are being used as 'drug supermarkets'.

Limerick City and County Council have been urged to begin the demolition of a number of derelict houses, which have reportedly been used to store and supply drugs.

The houses, some of which have been vacant for over three years, are attracting anti-social behaviour, criminal activity, and drug use.

Separately, Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has called for the removal of an “unauthorised" road, built without permission.

A Joint Policing Committee meeting with Limerick City and County Council (LCCC) heard people in the estate “are building their own roads to facilitate their enterprises”. 

Last week, gardaí confirmed they would be manning checkpoints to monitor people who were visiting the area's 'drug supermarkets'.

One operation saw Gardaí seize €40,000 worth of drugs and €10,000 in cash following a search operation in the area last Thursday.

Mr Quinlivan said the vacant houses and rogue developments were more than just an eyesore.

“They are also attracting anti-social behaviour. Some of these houses are being used to hold mini raves, or whatever you might call them,” he said.

Others, unfortunately, are been used by people to shoot up heroin or smoke crack. This can be seen from the street, and it's simply not good enough to be living next to this.” 

A number of residents raised concerns about anti-social behaviour and drug dealing, with one describing how public land and derelict houses were being used by local gangs to store and move drugs.

“It seems they can do what they like and make life a misery for the few good residents that are still here. Recently, there was a road type surface built to the rear of a part of [one] street,” the resident said.

Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has called for the removal of an 'unauthorised' road, built without permission. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has called for the removal of an 'unauthorised' road, built without permission. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

In response to whether the council had any plans to remove this road, a spokesperson said:

“Limerick City and County Council investigates all reports and incidences of unauthorised development and will instigate proceedings if necessary.” 

Mr Quinlivan also responded to concerns about the structure.

“I don't know what they are building there, but they are building a structure and that needs to be stopped as well because they are building that on public land. They have absolutely no permission to do that,” he said.

A spokesperson for the council said the demolition of houses in St Mary’s Park forms part of the regeneration programme for the area.

They added that some of the houses are owned by LCCC, with others going through a legal process to allow the demolitions to take place.

However, they added that when demolition takes place of vacant properties which are connected to occupied houses, greater detail and consideration is required.

“Limerick City and County Council is in discussions with households impacted by the proposed works. The council is progressing a number of bundles for demolition at present and expect to go on-site in the coming weeks,” the spokesperson said.

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