PETITION: "We, the undersigned, call on the Minister for
Environment, Heritage & Local Government, to remove Mr.
Brendan Kenny as CEO of the Limerick Regeneration Agencies and
to replace him with someone that is more concerned with the
immediate needs of the Communities residing in regeneration
A petition calling
on the Minister for Environment, John Gormley TD, to sack the
CEO of Limerick's Regeneration Agencies is to be launched early
next week. Residents' groups from the North and Southside of
the City have come together under the umbrella of Limerick Regeneration
Watch to demand that Mr. Kenny be replaced with "someone
that is more concerned with the immediate needs of the Communities
residing in regeneration areas."
The Weston Gardens
Residents' Association, the Moyross Residents' Alliance and
the Ballinacurra Weston Residents' Alliance are united in their
resolve to have Mr. Kenny removed from office.
"Since the establishment
of the Limerick Regeneration Agencies by Ministerial order over
3 years ago, we have borne witness to the systematic deterioration
and degeneration of the areas under Mr. Kenny's remit."
said Cathal McCarthy, Chair of Limerick Regeneration Watch.
"Mr. Kenny was
tasked with implementing the Fitzgerald Report, but where's
the dedicated Garda service recommended for regeneration areas
and where's the drugs treatment centre that our City desperately
needs? Where's the urgent educational intervention that was
promised? The immediate social needs of our Communities were
never adequately addressed; all we got was lip service. Essentially,
Mr. Kenny was tasked with restoring confidence and stability
to our estates and he has done the opposite. Displacing problems
is not the same as solving them," said Mr. McCarthy.
"Now he has
been entrusted with over €337 million of taxpayers money
and only 7% of that is earmarked for social regeneration, most
of the money is for roads and infrastructural work" added
Matt Collins, who
is Chair of the recently formed Ballinacurra Weston Residents'
Alliance, said that at a recent meeting Mr. Kenny threatened
that none of the money would be spent in Ballinacurra Weston
unless the group dissolved.
"The BWRA represents
over 90% of households in the immediate regeneration area, with
completed membership forms still coming in, yet Mr. Kenny claims
that there are two groups in the area and that he can only deal
with one, his so-called residents' forum. He said that none
of the money would be spent in Ballinacurra Weston unless our
group dissolved and joined the forum. At a previous meeting
he asked if we would we drop the word 'Alliance' and change
it to 'Forum', he said that the existing forum was 'defunct'
and that we could replace it. I, and most of our new committee
resigned from this forum because it was getting us nowhere and
we were not being listened to, why would we want to go back?"
asked Mr. Collins.
say, we didn't change our name. Instead we invited the remaining
residents on the forum to join our group and most of them did,
but that wasn't good enough for Mr. Kenny" added Mr. Collins"
committee walked out of our last meeting with Mr. Kenny after
he said that he'd prefer to deal with children than with us
and went on to suggest that we should fight it out in Cal's
Field with the remaining 3 residents on his forum. That was
an insult to our Community. I suppose he was only adding insult
to the injury he has already inflicted on us with boarded up
houses, derelict sites and rat infestations that have thrived
since he came to town." said Mr. Collins
Mr. Collins lamented
the wasted years saying, "Most of us spent two years on
Mr. Kenny's forum and it got us nowhere; we have a CCTV system
that doesn't work and when it did it wasn't monitored, houses
were burnt out and, others were left unsecured and burnt out,
people are being encouraged to leave and are being bought out
for a pittance. There was never any real consultation; we didn't
even know what was in the Master Plans until after they were
published. I don't' think that Mr. Kenny wants to deal with
any residents in a meaningful way, he has his own agenda"
Chair of the Moyross
Residents' Alliance, Tommy Daly, voiced similar concerns
"The MRA is
the only independent residents' group in Moyross and even though
we've had plenty of meetings with Mr. Kenny over the past 2
years, he still won't formally acknowledge our existence. Like
the BWRA, we've also been threatened with no money for Moyross
unless we close down the MRA and come on board with his forum.
That will never happen. There are a handful of residents on
the forum that go along with Mr. Kenny because they foolishly
believe they'll get something out of it for themselves; they're
representing nobody but themselves." said Mr. Daly.
"People in regeneration
areas are being blackguarded; with homeowners bought out for
as little as €30,000 and turned back into tenants by Limerick
City Council while the Regeneration Agency funds it all. Mr.
Kenny is great at passing the buck, but he's the one approving
all this and signing the cheques. People are legally entitled
to more than what is currently on offer. We're entitled to a
house for a house, like for like and deeds for deeds,"
said Mr. Daly.
"And now that
the money is there, residents that have been waiting years for
their new regeneration homes are being threatened with Compulsory
Purchase and Eviction Orders, particularly in Moyross, where
residents homes are in the way of a new road and despite the
fact that no replacement homes have been built as was originally
promised. It's disgraceful. Clearing the land of people and
knocking their homes to make way for developers seems to be
the order of the day, Kenny's got to go."
Suggesting a replacement
for Mr. Kenny, Mr. Daly concluded, "We need someone like
Paul Foley. When Paul was Director of Regeneration for the Northside
he got a lot done for the people. Much to the annoyance of Kenny
- Paul wasn't afraid to speak up for us, he was a great loss
to Moyross, it's a pity he left the job, I think he was disillusioned
with the way things were going and how his hands were tied."
The Weston Gardens
Residents' Association is also chaired by Cathal McCarthy, who
said that their association formally presented Mr. Kenny with
a comprehensive proposal for the regeneration of Weston Gardens,
Rosbrien, as far back as December 2007.
Integration Regeneration', our proposal was based on everything
that Mr. Kenny said was possible for our area at an earlier
meeting with our Association in November 2007. We were the only
residents' group to do this, yet Mr. Kenny refused to even acknowledge
receipt of our proposal. We had a total of six scheduled meetings
with Mr. Brendan Kenny and his colleague, Mr. Brendan Hayden;
the last one was in March 2008. He has since ignored all formal
requests for further meetings, despite a statement in the master
plans that said that his agency would continue to negotiate
and work with us to resolve our problems. I don't think Mr.
Kenny is genuinely concerned with residents' needs," said
Mr. McCarthy said
that Limerick Regeneration Watch is not opposed to regeneration,
"We don't have regeneration, the way Mr. Kenny is running
things it's little more than a state sponsored land grab",
The group will be
going door to door with the petition in regeneration areas and
holding information stalls in the City centre in the coming
weeks, where members of the public will be invited to sign the
For further information
Cathal McCarthy (Limerick Regeneration Watch)
M: 087 78 45 070 E: email@example.com
Matt Collins (Ballinacurra
Weston Residents' Alliance)
M: 087 65 77 063 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tommy Daly (Moyross
M: 086 30 58 049 E: email@example.com
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