Another reason why you did nothing for the hundreds of thousands of pounds for ‘yourself’. Yes Bertie, you were paid to do nothing and you excelled at it!
Is this the peace that you were bladdering about in the USA when you addressed the Joint Houses of Congress? Did you know Bertie that while you were being accoladed by those who, like yourself, are totally divorced from reality, that there were decent people terrified in their own homes in this ‘great country of Ireland’ because YOU and your inept government have abandoned them?
You would better serve your country Bertie if you had stayed at home and tended to the mess that is now Ireland.
Is this the ‘peace’ that you were talking about?
From Sunday Independent
Gangs turn ordinary lives into a living hell
How can you expect a child to go to school when his mother is to scared to cross the road to go to Mass, asks Jim Cusack
By Jim Cusack
Sunday May 04 2008
THE terrible price being paid by families caught up in the widespread gang intimidation and constant threats of being murdered in Limerick is leading to nervous breakdowns in both parents and children caught up in the city’s lawlessness.
One family who agreed to speak produced letters from a primary school head teacher and a doctor, describing how a seven-year-old boy’s life has been destroyed by the threats and intimidation of his family. The boy has been too afraid to leave his house for months, cannot sleep at nights and needs constant company.
The letter from a doctor describes how the situation has caused his mother to become depressed. The letters were written in an effort to have the family relocated out one of the worst affected areas of the city to a place of safety. The family has been waiting for months to be found a new house away from the gang-controlled streets where they live.
The doctor’s letter warns: “Such a move may also be necessary to save her life.”
While speaking in their front room, the boy’s parents constantly looked through their net-curtained windows at anyone or any cars passing. The family seal the front door letter box at night with tape before going to bed as young gang members are squirting petrol through letter boxes using washing up liquid bottles and setting the fluid on fire. Several houses in their street have been shot at. Hundreds of homes in the city, abandoned by families in similar circumstances, are due for demolition under the regeneration programme to try and revive the areas.
They say that they have been on the receiving end of constant attacks and threats since a relative gave evidence in court against members of a gang under the control of the city’s major crime family, the Dundon-McCarthys, who now control a large swathe of the city. The Dundon-McCarthy’s main rivals, the Keane-Collopys are now restricted to a small area in the Island Field. In April, houses of the Keane-Collopys came under attack by Dundon-McCarthys who fired from an automatic assault rifle at four houses in St Mary’s Park in the Island Field.
According to local sources, in the past two years the Dundon-McCarthy gang have consolidated their control on drug dealing and other criminal activity in areas from their stronghold in the Ballinacurra-Weston and Southhill areas in the south of the city to the area including Moyross on the north side. In Moyross, the Dundon-McCarthys are understood to have taken control of the area from a gang which includes members of various crime families.
The Dundon-McCarthy gang, which has links with gangs in Dublin, Limerick and in Britain, is still being directed by leading members of the gang from prison who still have access to mobile phones. It is understood that the takeover of the Moyross area was completed last year when one of the Dundon-McCarthys walked up to one of the leading Moyross gang members and handed him a mobile phone. On the other end was the Dundon-McCarthy leader speaking from jail. He simply told the Moyross gang leader that he was now under the control of the Dundon-McCarthys. The reputation of the prisoner is such that the Moyross gang immediately conceded control of the area.
Residents — who all asked to have their identities kept secret for fear of being murdered — say they have lost confidence in the gardai to protect them. They said that their lives have been a hell because of the constant intimidation including daily death threats from young gang members driving by in cars.
“There are children here that need inoculations but are too afraid to go to the health centre because it is a no-go area. We can’t go to Mass in the local church. If we want to go to Mass we have to cross the town. We can’t go to the shops. They are coming to our houses and busting up our cars.
“A woman here has a son with spina bifida. Her house is attacked all the time. When she called the guards she automatically became a ‘rat’ to the gang members. They told her to get out or they would burn her out with her and the child in the house.
“99.9 per cent of people here believe that the guards are useless. Don’t get me wrong, there are great gardai, young ones who really care. But people here truly believe that there are people on the take. They [the gangs] have no fear. We call them [the garda] all the time — but nothing happens.”
Locals have dubbed the garda’s armed response unit in the city, the AUU — the “Armed Unresponse Unit”.
These two letters, one from a primary school head teacher about a seven-year-old boy and the other from a doctor about the effects on the boy’s mother illustrate how lives are being destroyed. Names have changed to avoid identification because of the real fear of being murdered.
The head teacher’s letter says: “John is enrolled in [name withheld] school since October 8, 2007. John is a nice, quiet boy who is always willing to please. He enjoys school and gets on well with both staff and other pupils.
“However, I am very concerned about John, as since coming to the school he has missed a total of 44 days. I have been in contact with both his parents and they with me on numerous occasions, both of us doing our best to get John back to school.
“John’s parents have told me that he is frightened to come to school, he is afraid that if he leaves his parents they will be dead when he comes back, he is frightened to sleep at night so he has resorted to sleeping during the day. John will not go to the shop, play outside or join extra curricular activities in his community because of the verbal abuse that he receives when he leaves his home.
“This is a sorry state to have a seven-year-old boy in. John should be at school with his friends, enjoying life as a seven-year-old typically does. I am worried that John’s future within the education system is at stake.
“To date John has missed 25 per cent of school and this could escalate to 50 per cent by June if John does not return to school. I have been in contact with [name withheld] of the Education Welfare Board with regard to his attendance and the situation that John is in.
“I would hope that you would strongly consider the family for re-housing as quickly as possible in order that John can return to school and enjoy a life suited to his age.”
A local GP has also written a letter on behalf of the boy’s mother seeking assistance in moving the family:
“This is to certify that this lady is under severe stress and has become depressed.
“Her depression is secondary to intimidation and threatening behaviour to both herself and her son. Her life has been threatened and she is afraid to take the bus, go to the shop and effectively live a normal life where she resides.
“She has reported the threatening behaviour to the gardai, but they seem powerless to protect her. She is afraid to make a statement to the gardai for fear of the consequences she would face if she did so. She is anxious to move from her present address. I hope you will facilitate her in this to prevent further damage to her health. Such a move may also be necessary to save her life.”
Local people see no end in sight for the violence in the city. Over the coming seven months, a number of major gang figures from both the Dundon-McCarthys and the Keane-Collopys are due to be released from prison. Sources close to the gangs say neither side is prepared to back down.
- Jim Cusack