Rian Dundon, Life in Limerick, from PRIVATE 48 – Economic inequalities, pp. 40-43
Since 2001, a major feud between rival organized crime families has led to serious gang related violence. Actual war zones exist in Limerick, in some of the country’s most infamous public housing estates. Moyross, Saint Mary’s Park, Southill, and Ballinacurra-Weston are each marked by entrenched poverty, decayed infrastructure, drug abuse, and unemployment rates are four-times the national average. Life on the council estates of Limerick is certainly untouched by the Celtic Tiger’s economic miracle. In 2007, the Limerick Regeneration Project was announced, a three-billion-Euro initiative to restore “conﬁdence and stability in the communities”.
However, since it began two years ago, the project has been stalled by recession and the housing market crash in Ireland and communities are still being torn apart by crime and neglect. But there is a strong desire by residents to stay and resolve the social problems in their communities rather than pack up and leave. Some council neighbourhoods date back to the 1930’s (the most recent having been built in the 1970’s) and many families have been in Limerick’s public housing system for decades, stuck in a cycle of poverty and social exclusion that only seems to repeat itself which each generation. Many welcome the promise of a new home via regeneration as long as it doesn’t mean relocation to another part of the city.