Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sign of the times

So here we have it. The first violent death in Moyross since Regeneration began working on the ground in the area.

It is a landmark that none of us wanted to face but one which was also tragically certain.

But the killing of 18-year-old Darren Bennett does not bring with it any of the disclaimers or reassurances we normally use to comfort ourselves when a young man meets a violent end in Limerick.

It wasn't feud related. It wasn't linked to organised crime. It was random and unpredictable and heartbreaking for the mother, father, three brothers and two sisters that are now in mourning.

Working in the local media, you can set your watch to the amount of times local politicians mention how they love Regeneration, and how the re-building of Moyross and Southill and Weston is the noble, necessary cause of our times.

But how many men, women, political parties and interest groups actually have a driven, undimmed plan to address disadvantaged urban Limerick?

In election year everyone claims to be tough on crime. How many are tough on the causes of crime? How frequently do we see the word 'poverty' printed on those lovely election pamphlets that are falling through our letter boxes at present?

The poverty platform just isn't sexy. Voters on the Ballinacurra Road care more about the parking outside their door than intravenous drug abuse taking place two miles away in Prospect.

Our attitudes are reflected in the words we say, the people we elect and stasis of our politics.

And while we wait for that to change, young men continue to die.

1 comment:

Bock the Robber said...

I still haven't figured out how disadvantage forces someone to kill a kid with a sword.

We weren't particularly advantaged growing up but oddly enough, we weren't in the habit of stabbing people, although there were some who did. They were no more disadvantaged than us, but they came from families of complete bastards. Perhaps that should be factored into the analysis.