Sunday 28 May 2017

Taoiseach commits to meeting more Dublin inner city groups worried about gangland crime

Richard Bruton TD, Frances Fitzgerald TD and Taoiseach Enda Kenny meeting local representatives from North Inner City in Seville Place.
Richard Bruton TD, Frances Fitzgerald TD and Taoiseach Enda Kenny meeting local representatives from North Inner City in Seville Place.

Ciara Treacy

After meeting with representatives of the Dublin Central area, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has committed to meeting more north inner city groups to hear the effect gangland crime has had on their communities.

This is expected to take place in coming weeks to allow the Government to plan short and long term interventions for the area before the Dáil recess.

Speaking after today’s meeting, Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe stressed the importance of hearing the views of groups “formally” so they can be “fed back into Government”.

“We heard all of their views regarding what needs to be done to build on the great work underway in Dublin Central and the north inner city but also to respond back to the challenges there,” the Minister said at Government Buildings.

“We have committed to meeting some other groups and individuals within the north inner city to make sure that we hear the broadest possible set of views.

“It’s the aim of the Government to bring this period of consultation to an end as quickly as we can and move to the development of a plan that will make a difference to the residents of the north inner city.

“We will be clear by the Dáil recess what it is we want to do in the long run. We will also be clear on what short term interventions will be put in place to make a difference.

“In relation to the need for local employment, we are going to have more economic activity in the north inner city than we have seen for many years.

“We see the development of a local apprenticeship programme as being part of how we deliver that,” he added.

Tanaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, who was also in attendance at the meeting, emphasised the importance of policing such areas.

“Right now we need to have the level of intensive policing which is happening in the inner city. That has to continue obviously because the gardai want to prevent further murders,” she said.

“Community policing will be developed right across the country and that is more possible as we bring more garda recruits into Templemore.

“We are very conscious of the fact we need such a heavy garda presence is very difficult for the community, and of course what we want to do is move to as normal a situation with routine policing.

“There are many families getting on with their lives, sending their children to school, doing the ordinary things families do every day.

“The local representatives were very concerned that because of the situation in relation to the murders in recent times, that there is a real risk of the community being seen in a very stereotype way.”

She said it was important to ensure this did not occur and added that while there are “wonderful services” in Dublin Central, there are long-term issues to be dealt with, particularly around education and housing.

“The drugs issue is a very complex one across the whole country. There is a demand for drugs and we have to look at who is buying the drugs as well. That is a national conversation to be had,” she added.

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