'Forget the bling - there is no future in organised crime and drugs,' warns Justice minister
"Forget about the bling. This is an operation for losers and they will be brought to justice."
This was the message of Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan to local people in the north Dublin suburb of Coolock today as he visited the area where Gardai are dealing with a bloody and violent feud that has seen three murders in the space of a week.
Meeting local garda units and community groups, he said he wanted to acknowledge the work of the Gardai in the area and thank them for what they are doing in challenging circumstances, and to hear from them what their plan for the area is.
With 30 new Gardai coming to the North Dublin Metropolitan Region next week, he also said he wanted to reassure the Coolock community that every effort will be made to bring those small number of people who are engaged in unacceptable criminal behaviour to justice.
“My message to young people in this area is that there is no future in organised crime or drugs or the associated bling that that brings. These are losers and I’m calling on the community to work closely with Gardai to ensure that the challenge can be surmounted,” he told the media as he arrived at Coolock garda station.
“Forget about the bling. This is an operation for losers and they will be brought to justice,” he added.
The minister said many of the community projects in the area are doing well, but he conceded there is room for a greater level of activity and improvement.
“This is a law abiding community here, however a small number of young males in this community are acting in a way that is totally unacceptable and I'm anxious to see intelligence led garda operations and I'm appealing with the community to keep in close contact with An Garda Siochana in order to ensure that those who are not prepared to live a law abiding citizens will be taken out of society,” he explained.
Minister Flanagan was joined by other local representatives Minister Richard Bruton, Minister of State Finian McGrath and Senator Catherine Noone.
After a meeting with senior Gardai in the division he visited community groups in the Coolock area to hear first hand about the local community experiences of crime in the area.