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What is happening in Longford town?

  • 05-02-2023 9:50am
    Registered Users Posts: 782 ✭✭✭

    I lived in the town Longford right through the seventies. But haven't been back there for more than thirty years now.

    It was a friendly, easy going, relatively safe typical small rural Irish town. The Longford Leader courts section featured mainly speeding offences, shoplifting, the odd drunk and disorderly charge and maybe one or two punch-ups.

    Recently, it seems to me, the place has been persecuted with multiple drug busts, targetting of local crime lords, endless violent feuding and even a couple of shootings.

    What has happened to turn a sleepy harmonious little backwater into such a chaotic state?



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,348 ✭✭✭irishgeo

    A government and a country soft on crime. Criminals with previous convictions arms length long let off again for another chance.

  • Registered Users Posts: 782 ✭✭✭Gussie Scrotch

    Yes, I can see that there has been a general rise in serious crime all over Ireland for the reasons you point out.

    It just seems to me that the change in Longford is disproportionately high. It regularly makes the national news, something that rarely happened back in the day.

  • Registered Users Posts: 122 ✭✭cafflingwunts

    Travellers* killing each other, usually.

    Post edited by cafflingwunts on

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,855 ✭✭✭✭elperello

    Maybe you would consider a return trip after over 30 years.

    Look up some old friends, walk around the town etc.

    It might be more instructive than asking here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 782 ✭✭✭Gussie Scrotch

    But there's been gang fights on the main streets, in supermarkets, on a garage forecourt. There's been several drug caches of hundreds of thousands of pounds seized, the CAB have targetted several locals, there's been shootings in housing estates, houses attacked and even burned to the ground.

    Nothing remotely like this happened in the not so distant past.

    Its the spped and severity of the transformation that puzzles (and saddens) me.

    How can it have changed so much, so quickly?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 986 ✭✭✭Sorolla

    The biggest problem Longford had is the constituency Longford/Westmeath.

    The town went a few years without a sitting TD and as a result experienced severe neglect.

    There is a very rough element to Longford town and the courts are not doing their jobs.

    Repeat offenders should be put away and not given a chance.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,800 ✭✭✭Jizique

    Couple of well-known traveller families running amok but careful not to get caught with anything

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,025 ✭✭✭MrMusician18

    First of all, Longford was never an easygoing town. It was always a low income area that had a relatively high public order problem.

    The changes I've observed in the town from visiting over the past 50 years are complex and intertwined with wider issues. The town has a drug crime problem, it has a large population of low income individuals and families and it has an ongoing traveller family feud. Inward migration has possibly resulted in a loss of social cohesion as well.

    Add all on top of that, poor planning practices which allowed development on the edge of the town rather than in its heart, and overall neglect of both the public realm as well as property facing the public has the town where it is

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,707 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump

    Is this you OP?

    Locks made of paper

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,810 ✭✭✭Pentecost

    I have family in Longford. It's always had trouble, well since the early 1990s anyway which is as far as I can remember. There was always a high proportion of Travellers but the feuds seem more dangerous and more sustained now. There is definitely a drug problem in the town and as far as I can see the drug trade is controlled almost exclusively by the Travellers.

    The problems don't just stem from the Travellers though. There's been no investment in the town. There are no facilities and there are few decent jobs to be had so a lot of people move away.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,013 ✭✭✭Quitelife

    Traveller crime is the main issue but politicans & the media ensure it cant be discussed or dealt with only let it get worse & worse .

    Reduction in Garda Numbers & soft judges & free Legal aid solicitors with no morals have compounded the matter.

    Longford & Limerick are the counties with the worst problems around this topic but plenty of towns like Ennis, Tipperary Town, Tuam, Castlebar, Mullingar, Newbridge , Tralee, Mahon Cork City, Shannon town, Thurles , etc etc etc .....even the great Killarney has problems

  • Registered Users Posts: 365 ✭✭BagofWeed

    The move by the authorities, courts service/Gardaí away from targeting and punishing crimes that actually effect other people/businesses such as assaults, burglaries, shoplifting and general public disorder towards prioritising low level drug use/users is a major if not the most dominant reason for it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,194 ✭✭✭Jarhead_Tendler

    The town was once a hub of vibrant characters. There were over 50 pubs in the town which is down to under ten now. Abbott are a huge employer and one of the few good things to happen the town in the last ten years.

    The town has changed a lot . Our population has risen by 14 percent in the last 6 years alone. After Tuam I think we are the 2nd highest for traveller residents. The dogs in the street know who is and has been running the drugs trade here since the 90s. The Gardai are like the residents disheartened by a judicial system that **** on it weekly.

    There are estates that I would not live in if I were given a house for free. Workers from good employers like Abbot find it hard to get suitable accommodation within the town. The local TD does his best and works hard on a lot of issues but is pissing into the wind. (some will disagree and think he is useless)

    Its home and I will never live anywhere else . I believe more problems are on the way as the people who have arrived from Slovakia/Romania aren't known for their work ethic and even if they have that jobs aren't guaranteed. Two major stores have closed since christmas. Along with Abbott the building of centre parks has given a huge lift to the county. A badly needed Lift.

  • Registered Users Posts: 569 ✭✭✭Deregos.

    I think Longford gets an undue amount of negativity from media sources in fairness. There's much worse places to live in Ireland, especially if you were to factor in things like random acts of violence, rapes or murders into the equation, which are rare enough here. There are a few druggie families who are in constant, full on fued mode, they tend to make the headlines lots, whereas the majority of Longford people are decent, friendly, hard working folk who have absolutely nothing to do with those scuz buckets.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,203 ✭✭✭AllForIt

    There's much worse places to live in Ireland

    Like where?

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,256 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack

    What has happened to turn a sleepy harmonious little backwater into such a chaotic state?

    When you left, the whole thing went to shìt really.

    Or, it was never like that in the first place, only you being much younger at the time didn’t care and didn’t notice how shìt it was then for people who were the same age then as you are now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 569 ✭✭✭Deregos.

    Well, Waterford, Cork, Drogheda, Limerick, Dublin.

    Why, where do you live?

    Post edited by Deregos. on

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,203 ✭✭✭AllForIt

    Well Dublin Cork Waterford and Limerick have cities (presumably you don't mean the whole county) in which you would expect to have 'deprived' areas in those cities.

    Are the issues in Longford specific to a particular district in Longford or the whole town?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭Count Dracula

    Op in fairness it was a dangerous enough kip 30 odd years ago as well. The only thing would be the drug taking is more in your face, but you were never stuck for a row either. I would put it up there with the likes of Cavan, Mullingar, Athlone etc , as your typical county town kind of place that got left behind .

    You have to remember that the day of the market town is dying a death. Longford will suffer as it is too small for anyone wanting to see the world hanging around and looking after her. Most people head off unless they have something to hang around for like a business or teaching or what have.

    A bit like yourself scooting off there during the 90's and forgetting the place ever existed, you come back after 3600 months and forget that you are from a kip in the middle of nowhere that is populated by townies, the odd farmer up to buy or sell and the guts of over 1000 people who are actually part of the same family. I am not sure what you call them, but whatever you do don't cross them and you know phucking well why?

    Even the soccer team are shight, some things never change op.

    Have you not built a statue of the Duke of Wellington yet? It might get the lefties going and generate some enthusiasm around it, I tell you what, it needs it bigtime.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,193 ✭✭✭Dazler97

    It's a dive of a place ,I'm in Leitrim and I'd go to Dublin or Galway before Longford It's to rough run by criminals ,the government don't care there highly corrupt anyway

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,914 ✭✭✭Andrea B.


    Post edited by Andrea B. on

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,822 ✭✭✭Straight Talker

    Well the places you listed there with the exception of Drogheda are cities, and Drogheda is the largest town in Ireland. Ironically enough i'd feel safer in all of those places than in Longford town. Longford for a medium sized town is fairly rough enough, and a lot of the trouble there is caused by people from a certain "cultural" minority.

    Post edited by Straight Talker on

    Cork 1990 All Ireland Senior Hurling and Football Champions

  • Registered Users Posts: 782 ✭✭✭Gussie Scrotch

    No, it was never a paradise and I remember that, economically, times were perpetially tough. That's one of the reasons I left - to find better career opportunities.

    But it was never violent ( Im talking serious violence rather than the occasional pub fight etc) dangerous to walk in, drug riddled etc.

    And I remember how friendly the people were. Even if they didn't have muich. Good humoured and friendly. They wouldn't have tolerated the crime levels that seem to exist now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,505 ✭✭✭✭Mad_maxx

    But the media conceal the involvement of travellers in crime so how does Longford get an undue amount of negative coverage?

  • Registered Users Posts: 258 ✭✭It is a Dunne Deal

    It is a hotspot of a certain thriving ethnic community that enjoys fighting, feuding and granny bashing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 986 ✭✭✭Sorolla

    When I was a young lad growing up in a farm just outside Ardagh - Longford town was a thriving market town with one of the best schools in the country - St Mel’s College - where many a bright farmers son got a great education and became a great footballer as well.

    one of the finest hotels in the country - the longford arms - was the top address for functions, weddings (Jim had the Rolls Royce) and ballroom dancing with all the greats of country and western music playing regularly.

    The list of artists is a who’s who of Irish music - Big Tom, Larry Cunningham, Foster and Allen, Kathy Durkan, Declan and Mick, Joe Dolan and Daniel o Donnel.

    Durkans had a great sports shop and Jim Kelly and Matt O Brien had the best fashion on sale for the fashion conscious farmers son.

    PV Fallons, The Market Bar and many other great places to meat and eat.

    Louis Hetterich had the best sausages and pudding in the country.

    There was even a Taoiseach from Longford - after Albert and Peter Kelly left the political stage thing got bad for longford.

    the FF TD currently from the town is a lovely man but I do not think he is prepared to stand up for longford - he toes the party line.

    longford will lose their TD at the next election.

    westmeath is where the power is in the constituency - I think that is part of the problem.

    Things were better when the constituency was previously Longford-Roscommon

    I hope the glory days return to longford

  • Registered Users Posts: 258 ✭✭It is a Dunne Deal

  • Registered Users Posts: 296 ✭✭Ham_Sandwich

    same as here in dublin to may busy bodys complaining about everything they say dublin has loads of trouble but I do be out and about and never have any trouble keep you head down and keep to youserselfs if you go looking for toruble youll always find it

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Be more specific - Douglas or Clonakilty in Cork are hardly worse than Longford. Why should they confirm where they live? They asked where is worse to live than Longford. Fair question. I'd say the toughest suburbs of Dublin and Limerick myself.

    Pity that a nice country town surrounded by lovely scenery has to be ruined by scumbags.