follows is an extract from the report by the EU Committee on
Petitions regarding their visit to Weston Gardens on 27 June
PARLIAMENT 2004 - 2009
on fact finding visit to Ireland 26-29 June 2007
Committee on Petitions
Rapporteurs: Marcin Libicki, Radu Podgorean.
- Weston Gardens.
Citizens of Europe
Sent a petition about life in Clarina,
There is so much rubbish and dirt
It makes our eyes hurt
But its the rats that are thriving - the b****** .
The good people met
with PETI's bold members
In the rain, outside, with umbrellas,
Weston Gardens needs attention,
We call on Europe for redemption
For our rights and our claims,
For our hopes and our aims
For a neighbourhood decent to live in.
Weston Gardens and
the kids from Rosbrien
Have got three burnt out houses to play in,
They would like the green
To be healthy and clean
But the rubbish bags pile up and drown 'em.
The boundary walls
look like Belfast or Baghdad,
Steel spikes and barbed wire've been erected
The space for their children
Their homes and their freedom
Is swoppeded for nine shots from a handgun.
Members asked which
Directive is broken
By your troubled estate's awful condition
We're not sure on that one
But there must be some
Lying unused and needing attention.
What about the government
Don't they have some powers of persuasion?
When something goes wrong
Someone bangs the gong
The Gardai should stand to attention.
All that has been
tried; we're defeated.
The only course of action, they pleaded,
Is for Europe to help
To provide us with strength
And deliver to us all that is needed.
We will do our best
A solution which will soon decide
A better future for all
Weston Gardens, no walls
Just clean streets, some sunshine and pride.
For that we need
With Limerick Council, with the Irish nation,
More effort by the elected
More respect for the affected
Some solutions with Europe's benediction.
Weston Gardens is
part of a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Limerick which has
become a no-go area, where residents have had to put up with
serious anti-social behaviour, including aggressive behaviour,
drug-taking and vandalism by local gangs which have turned this
old established community into a divided and neglected area.
have been the most affected and they remain the most vulnerable
to aggression and insult. The brick and metal fencing and barriers
which have been erected make the area now look more like a prison
for its inhabitants, keeping them inside and the gangs outside.
The barriers have added little, if anything, to their safety
and created even more problems for the local community which
is now unable to have its rubbish collected effectively, which
in turn has led to a serious and persistent health hazard.
Local children every
day risk infection from the piled up rubbish and the rat infestations
in the burnt out houses. Limerick sends out a cleaning truck
only twice a year and the residents are left to do the cleaning
themselves as best they can. The gangs have nevertheless returned
and they set light to the rubbish creating a serious fire hazard
which has already engulfed the community - an open-air incinerator
site. The fire brigade have been stoned when they arrived to
extinguish the fires.
Complaints made to
the Local Council (Corporation of Limerick) have gone unheeded.
In 2001 a resident sounded the alarm because of one house which
had been torched; this did not prevent the burning of the two
houses next to it in the following period.
The citizens living
in this area have had enough: they consider that their fundamental
rights are being ignored by the local and national authorities
and they have appealed to the Petitions Committee to assist.
In the course of the visit, members gave a commitment that they
would be heard, even though under the terms of the Treaty the
European Parliament has no direct power to intervene except
by urging the responsible authorities to do their duty.