DUBLIN'S new Lord Mayor Royston Brady yesterday lashed Justice Minister Michael McDowell for what he claimed was his failure to tackle rising street crime in the capital.
"The minister is a great man for talking the talk. He knows the issues. He's 18 months in office and I haven't seen what I expected of him," said Mr Brady, who said he was making the issue of street crime in Dublin one of his top priorities while in office. Mr Brady suggested that the seven per cent drop in crime announced by the minister in the first six months of the year could be due to the fact that people were not reporting it.
He said a spate of gangland killings in recent months and a number of acts of mindless violence against innocent members of the public, including a random fatal attack on a man waiting for a bus on Eden Quay have led to a feeling that parts of Dublin City have become no-go zones.
Mr Brady said he was afraid that more people would be killed as they walked home from work or after an evening out unless crime was tackled.
And he said while the Justice Minister could announce figures which showed a drop in crime in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, Dubliners were not seeing the impact of this decrease.
"You can't fool Dubliners by saying for the first seven months crime came down. Crime probably came down because it hasn't been reported. I feel we're on the slippery slope where people don't report crime," he said.
The Lord Mayor said the figures "mean nothing" adding that there was no reassurance in them for the parent whose child did not come come.
The Lord Mayor said he wrote to the minister and new Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy seeking a meeting with them to outline their plans on tackling crime in Dublin. However, he said so far he had no response.
A spokeswoman for the Garda Press Office said there were a number of requests for meetings with the commissioner, while a spokeswoman for the Justice Minister confirmed that a request had been received and said a meeting would be arranged in due course.
However, she said they would dispute Mr Brady's claim that crime had not been tackled adequately.