A new study has found that of the top 10 unemployment blackspots in the Republic of Ireland, eight are located in Limerick city.
The city's unemployment rate currently stands at around 14% overall, with the effects of the pandemic largely blamed for this figure. In individual wards the figure is even starker, with John's A, which includes St. Mary's Park, reporting a rate of 58.3%. Other areas have reported unemployment rates between 40% and 50%.
The study was commissioned by Sinn Fein TD Maurice Quinlivan as part of his role as chairman of the enterprise trade and employment Oireachtas committee. Quinlivan accused the government of abandoning Limerick's most disadvantaged communities.
"For Limerick to have eight of the top 10 blackspots is absolutely scandalous. There should have been specific interventions into these areas to make sure there was help," he said. "These unemployment areas don’t seem to change year-on-year, the only thing which does change is the order. In that different parts of the city would have higher numbers than others. It’s a real indictment on this government over the last number of years and particularly our national leaders who have stood by."
The study found that Limerick is home to a total of 18 unemployment blackspots across the county.