Friday 30 September 2016

'People are frightened, it’s as simple as that' Mary Lou McDonald calls for greater garda resources in wake of separate gun murders

Published 26/04/2016 | 11:15

Mary Lou McDonald
Mary Lou McDonald

Mary Lou McDonald has claimed crime gangs are now “brazen enough to do pretty much anything”.

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The Sinn Féin Deputy Leader told RTE Radio One that people in Dublin's North Inner City are terrified that more innocent people will die.

Dissident Republican Michael Barr (34) was gunned down as he worked in The Sunset House bar in Dublin’s Summerhill shortly after 9.30pm.

Ms McDonald represents the constituency and she said people in the surrounding area are “frightened”.

“There is no doubt now that there is a heightened sense of tension and of fear and of vulnerability on the streets. This is a phenomenon right across the city.

“It’s very very acute now in the North Inner city.”

Ms McDonald explained that she met last week with senior gardaí where she expressed the fears of locals.

“The gardaí In each of the categories say that crime levels are down but I said to them and they accept, fear is up.”

She continued: “There is now a strong belief that these armed thugs are brazen enough to do pretty much anything with no regard for the life or security of anybody.

“There is a belief that innocent passers by, people who live in the area, people who take their children to the school in the area, different clubs in the area are now vulnerable.

“People are frightened, it’s as simple as that.”

Ms McDonald lashed out at so called dissidents: “I wish them to desist their activities. The only thing they are doing is bringing hardship and heartache and fear onto the streets."

On the same show Dermot O’Brien, the outgoing President of the Garda Representative Association (GRA), said gardaí need to be better armed to tackle gangs.

He explained that since 2008 there has been no tactical training for specialist units. The first gardaí to arrive at the scene of the Regency shooting in February were unarmed.

"It is a well known fact, and the FBI have stated it, that a 500 metre perimeter should be set up around such incidents where unarmed people cannot enter."

He continued: "As members in uniform we have the asp, retractable baton and pepper spray. Once we utilise those forms of force the next available form of force after that is the gun. We have nothing intermediate - the likes of tasers and beanbags."

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