Limerick women forced to take long detours to avoid dark streets

James Wilson
James Wilson

09.30 1 Feb 2024

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Limerick women forced to take...

Limerick women forced to take long detours to avoid dark streets

James Wilson
James Wilson

09.30 1 Feb 2024

Share this article

Women in Limerick are being forced to take lengthy detours for fear of dark unlit streets, Women’s Collective Ireland has warned.

Their concerns were raised at a council meeting last week, which led to a wider conversation about women's safety. 

On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Women's Collective Ireland (WCI) Limerick Co-Ordinator Yvie Murphy said there are nighttime no-go areas for women “the length and breadth of the country”.


"Women have to adjust our behaviours to make ourselves feel safer when we’re navigating the world,” she said.

“If you’re walking home and it’s a dark area and it’s a 10-minute walk versus if it’s a 20 minute walk home on a very well-lit area, the majority of time, women are going to walk on the well-lit area and avoid the dark area.”

Male violence

Ms Murphy said the issue is not about anti-social behaviour in certain areas – insisting it is simply an issue of male violence against women.

“I think, if there is a dark area and there’s a green, it doesn’t really matter if there is someone engaging in anti-social behaviour or if there’s no one there at all,” she said. 

“The point is, I can’t see what’s there and I’m afraid; I have that anxiety.” 

Ms Murphy said the result is women “100%” have to live their lives by a different set of rules. 

“You have your own strategies and protocols to keep yourself safe,” she said. 

“I do myself, so many women do. 

“Women have to adjust our behaviour to keep ourselves safe when we really shouldn’t have to do that. 

“We should all live in a society where I can put my headphones in at 8PM and I can go for a walk or something like that in a dark area and not be afraid.

“That’s the key piece here, we shouldn’t have to do this.” 


One solution is more streetlights, which Ms Murphy said would make many areas “accessible” to women after dark.

She said another would be for men to become more involved in tackling violence against women in society.

“We need to see men actively engaging in action that’s going to combat men’s violence against women, calling out negative behaviours when they see it,” she said. 

“Challenging their co-worker when they make sexist remarks, telling your friend, ‘Maybe don’t take that woman home? She’s drunk, let’s get her home safely.’ 

“There’s lots of things men could be doing to get involved in this conversation that will ultimately make society safer for women.” 

Ms Murphy said only a small percentage of men are guilty of harming women but a far larger percentage of men are doing nothing to tackle their friends' behaviours. 

“Can you image how powerful it would be if the men currently not engaging in negative behaviour start engaging in positive behaviour, to call out the men who are doing the bad stuff?” she said. 

“That would be absolutely powerful and it really would change society.” 

Last year in Ireland, seven women were killed and a male was charged in relation to each death.

If you have been impacted by any of the issues in this article, you can contact Women's Aid on 1800 341 900.

Main image: Woman walking through a dark tunnel alone. 

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Crime Femicide Feminism Limerick Sexism Violence Against Women Women Women's Safety

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