Wednesday 28 September 2016

Enda Kenny holds two hour meeting with community leaders in north Dublin over gangland violence

Niall O'Connor and Laura Larkin

Published 14/06/2016 | 22:19

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.

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has vowed to ensure people can walk the streets of Dublin's North Inner City “without fear of their lives being taken away.”

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Mr Kenny made the pledge on Tuesday evening following a two hour meeting with community leaders.

Joined by six Government Ministers, Mr Kenny heard how a desperate lack of investment in services and education is having a detrimental effect on the area.

The meeting, which took place amid much media fanfare, was held three weeks to the day Gareth Hutch was gunned down in broad daylight.

During the meeting, which took place at St Laurence O'Toole's school on Seville Place, Mr Kenny and those present sat in two circles.

The Fine Gael leader did not speak for 90 minutes - and instead took notes.

On his way into the meeting, Taoiseach Enda Kenny insisted he wants to speak to people who have a “real interest in safety and streets”.

He was approached by well known Independent councillor Christy Burke, who told Mr Kenny to follow the lead of Irish soccer player Wes Hoolahan and boxing star Kellie Harrington, two north inner city locals.

“I said to the Taoiseach, ‘Do what Wes did, do what Kellie did, and please deliver. If you had seven people executed outside of Government Buildings, there would be an entirely different response,’” he added.

Mr Donohoe, a TD for Dublin Central, denied that the Government was merely responding to the seven brutal killings. But he admitted this area had seen “decades of neglect”.

“We recognise the damage that has been caused by the years of harm our country has gone through and we have to respond to that. We’ve been very, very clear on the need to [be] responding to the challenges – and the opportunities are here.”

Speaking to reporters as he left the venue, Mr Kenny said he found many of those present “inspirational”. He vowed to ensure, working with gardaí, that people can walk the streets “without fear of their lives being taken away.”

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