Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Limerick gangs 'grooming' marginalised children

A study by University College Cork has found that criminal gangs in Limerick are grooming marginalised young children to carry out violent, drug-related crimes.

As part of the research, sociologist Dr Niamh Hourigan spent a year talking to criminals in the city.

She says young children are used by family-based drug gangs to intimidate neighbours, with one eight-year-old girl involved in burning someone out of their home

Dr Hourigan says the State's witness protection programme is failing to tackle the situation because witnesses fear their families will be targeted in retaliation.

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