Sunday 25 September 2016

'People will literally be looking over their shoulders' - Local councillors call for end to violence

Meadhbh McGrath

Published 26/04/2016 | 08:42

Nial Ring. Photo: Tony Gavin
Nial Ring. Photo: Tony Gavin
Gino Kenny
Ciaran Cuffe

The ongoing feud between two Dublin gangs “has gone on too long” and “has to be stopped”, according to Independent councillor Nial Ring.

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The North Inner City councillor has called for an end to the violence following the killings of two men in their 30s in separate incidents last night.

“There’s an air of fear around the area. The reaction was initially shock, but what’s coming through now is a lot of it is turning to anger,” he told Independent.ie.

“Where are the resources? This feud has been going on so long, and there are now innocent people being shot down on Sheriff Street.”

Gino Kenny
Gino Kenny

Referring to the mistaken identity shooting of Martin O’Rourke and the killing of Eddie Hutch Snr, he said local people are frustrated with government inaction.

“The two parties in negotiation for a government are in talks about the price of water. People are saying, what price for a community living in fear, and what price life itself? The priorities seem to be all wrong,” he said.

“Nobody is blaming the guards. It’s this circus going on about setting up a government. Meanwhile, people are being shot in their houses, shot in their work places, shot in the street. That is what is angering people now.”

Cllr Ring added that one of the victims had been gunned down at work, and the other had been killed in the hallway of his own home in Clondalkin.

He also noted that the shootings last night mark the sixth and seventh murders in 11 weeks.

“This gangland thing has gone on too long, it has to be stopped,” he said.

He mentioned that his own mother lives just 200 yards from the Sunset House pub, where one of the victims, Michael Barr, had been working as a bartender when he was shot.

“Elderly people in particular are nervous, they’ve lived in the area all their lives, going to mass, going to the local chemist for their prescriptions.

Ciaran Cuffe
Ciaran Cuffe

“There are always people out and about, but I know this morning there will be a lot less, it will be much quieter and more subdued. People will literally be looking over their shoulders.”

He described the scene at the Sunset House pub just a day before the killing, when crowds gathered after the 1916 commemorations in nearby Croke Park.

“The violence has certainly got to a stage where the ordinary citizen just doesn’t know what is going to happen next, and from that point of view, that’s what causes the fear and anxiety.

“When you have a guy like Martin O’Rourke who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and last night at Sunset House the guy was just doing his job. Is anyone safe at this stage? That’s what people are wondering.”

Clondalkin TD Gino Kenny (PBP) said people in Clondalkin woke up to the "awful news" of yet another gangland murder.

"It seems to be a catalogue and litany of shootings. People are using dreadful violence against other people.

"Gun crime appears to be out of control," he said.

"My condolences go out to his family but it is also upsetting for the community.

"It is pretty worrying the way gun crime is out of control in Dublin.

"This leaves a stain on the community and society that we live in."

Ciaran Cuffe, Green Party Councillor for Dublin’s North Inner City, has appealed for “a firm focus on door-to-door policing”.

“I’ve just come from the scene of the shooting. The community is in shock, and people want to be assured that they are safe in their homes,” he told Independent.ie.

Speaking about the recent tragedies around the city, he said: “There’s been a huge amount of bloodshed this year, and it’s crucial that An Garda Síochána are on top of this, and that they have the resources they need to tackle gangland crime.”

He described local people as “just trying to get on with their lives” amid the rising violence.

“There are children going to school, people going to work, and there’s a large Garda presence in the area.

“But there’s also a sense that this part of the city needs a renewed investment in housing, in education, in training to give a very disadvantaged part of the country the support that they deserve.”

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