Limerick City CCTV funding approved 

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Mr. Dermot Ahern T.D., today visited Limerick city where he was briefed by the Garda Commissioner, Fachtna Murphy, Assistant Commissioner, Kevin Ludlow and senior Limerick Gardaí on the progress of the intensive Garda operation launched against the activities of criminal gangs operating in the Limerick area.

The Minister was also updated on the state of play of the investigation into the recent brutal killing of Shane Geoghegan.

Minister Ahern was accompanied at the meeting by the Minister for Defence Willie O’Dea T.D., and the Minister for Overseas Development Aid Peter Power T.D.

Speaking following the briefing, Minister Ahern said: "The intensity of Garda activity in Limerick city is now at its highest level ever. Although the criminal gangs based in Limerick continue to be active, it is clear from the briefing I have received that the pressure being exerted by the Gardaí on these gangs is having encouraging results. The capacity of these criminal factions to carry out their deadly trade is being increasingly curtailed.

Today, the Commissioner has again assured me that every possible measure, within the law, is being taken to crush the threat of the Limerick gang fraternity. For as long as it takes, targeted Garda operations here in Limerick city will continue relentlessly to bring those involved in criminal activities to justice, including those responsible for the vile and vicious shooting of Shane Geoghegan. No resource will be spared in hunting down these cowards."    

Minister Ahern, also during his visit today to Limerick city, announced funding for two CCTV schemes in the south side of Limerick City.  

The areas covered are Southill – Kincora/Carew/Keyes Park and the O’Malley Park housing estates.  In total, the area extends to about 1,100 houses.  The schemes are run and operated jointly by the Limerick Southside Regeneration Agency and Limerick City Council who will provide on-going resources to monitor the cameras and support the system.   A total of €200,000 is being provided this year.  As the estates are within the RAPID area, a further €100,000 is being provided by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.  

In making the announcement, the Minister said: "The provision of these community based CCTV schemes is an important part of the overall plan for the regeneration of these areas.  It has immediate benefits in reassuring residents and as a deterrent to anti-social and criminal behaviour.  In summary, we want to give back these estates to the honest hard working communities who live there."  

Welcoming this announcement Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív said: "The public safety and anti-social and criminal behaviour are issues that are repeatedly brought to my attention when I visit RAPID areas and the provision of CCTV is a regular request from these communities. I am delighted to be able to respond to this request as I believe that this funding will make a significant difference to the quality of life for a large number of people in the Limerick Southside RAPID area."

A number of successful CCTV schemes, which have been funded jointly by the Departments of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs are already operational in the city.  The first community based CCTV scheme in the country was established in the Moyross area and has since been expanded and linked to the Garda Divisional Office.  Further schemes are operational in Our Lady of Lourdes (Ballinacurra Weston) and St. Munchin’s.  An Garda Síochána liaises closely with the local community and have access to the monitoring stations as required.  In addition, a Garda installed "town centre" system has operated very successfully in the city centre area for the past few years.  

Minister Ahern continued: "I and my Department are fully committed to the work of the Regeneration Agency. Significant resources have been made available to Limerick including increased Garda resources to address organised crime in the city.  There has been a 12% increase in Garda resources in the past year alone."  

5 December 2008