THE man charged with regenerating crime-ridden parts of Limerick city took up his new post yesterday pledging immediate action.
Brendan Kenny, the new chief executive of the two regeneration boards for Southill and Moyross said his boards will set out straight away to draw up two master plans.
And he promised people in the areas they are setting out to change for the better, and will see action on the ground sooner rather than later.
Mr Kenny said: “I would hope we will have some interventions for early wins. Otherwise people will feel it’s just the same again. For credibility we will have to have early wins.”
Mr Kenny said two separate vision documents will be a priority.
He added: “These should be strong documents and give hope to people who wouldn’t have hope.”
Up to last week Mr Kenny, as Assistant Dublin City Manager was in charge of huge urban renewal projects in deprived parts of Dublin with budgets of €5.5bn.
His two new boards will meet for the first time tomorrow in Moyross and Southill and will be chaired by John Fitzgerald the former Dublin city manager who was called in by the government to carry out a report to tackle social exclusion in Moyross and Southill.
Mr Kenny said he had tackled housing and social issues in areas of Dublin such as Ballymun and Fatima Mansions.
He said: “Regeneration would be a big issue for me over the past four or five years and I hope to bring this kind of experience to Limerick.”
Mr Kenny said the total demolition of huge numbers of vandalised houses had already got under way.
Refurbishment of these buildings was not an option, he said.
“A more comprehensive job is needed to today and that is what is required in Limerick. Houses with their roofs burned out do not create the right environment,” he said.
Speaking from his office at the enterprise park located in the old Krupps factory, Mr Kenny said crucial issues which needed to be tackled included crime, child welfare, health and education.
At present he is putting together two action teams which will take responsibility for implementing the master plans.
He intends to have the two master plans agreed by October and these will be translate aspirations of the Fitzgerald report into specific programmes of action.