Sunday 24 June 2018

Locals enraged as gangsterism grows in face of cutbacks

Gardaí at the scene in Barnwell Drive, Dublin, where a member of the force and a man were shot. Photo: Kyran O’Brien
Gardaí at the scene in Barnwell Drive, Dublin, where a member of the force and a man were shot. Photo: Kyran O’Brien

Alan O'Keeffe

Residents of the north Dublin city suburb of Ballymun are "enraged" by the latest bout of gun violence in their area.

The shooting of a Garda and wounding of a teenager during a raid on a house yesterday morning occurred less than four months after the shocking double murder of Antoinette Corbally and Clinton Shannon outside the former's home in front of her family.

Tensions in the area have mounted in the last few months - and residents are worried about their safety on the streets as well as the future of their area, says People Before Profit councillor Andrew Keegan.

"People in the area have told me about their worries that this gangsterism is starting to spread," he said.

"It's not just Ballymun's problem as this can happen anywhere in Dublin. There's a feeling here that gardaí are not resourced enough to deal with these problems.

"The last thing we want is for something like this [shooting] to happen to a garda. The people want every garda to be able to go home safely from their work.

Gardaí search the scene Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins
Gardaí search the scene Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins

Read More: Garda and teen gunman hit in shoot-out during raid on suspected 'drug deal depot'

"People are very concerned about the safety of the local population. There are people going about their business in the streets, there are mothers bringing their children to school, and they don't want this happening.

"With austerity, everything was cut to the bone, and these cuts hit gardaí in all parts of the country."

Labour councillor Andrew Montague said the local community was "enraged" that any individual in their area would shoot at garda.

"I'm enraged and the whole community of Ballymun is enraged by what has happened. This is a very hard-working community. We don't want gun violence in our community," he said.

"It was very lucky that someone was not killed or very seriously injured.

"Whatever the problems we've had over the years, this is just unacceptable.

"There have been a few shootings over the years, but it is not the history of Ballymun.

"This shooting represents a change and it is time to stamp it out.

"The people are very upset. People are looking out their windows and seeing this kind of behaviour.

"The Barnwell estate where it happened is one of the friendliest and most welcoming estates in the city where people look out for each other. They don't want this. They don't want shooting at gardaí who are here to protect us.

"Ballymun has had a reputation for having its problems over the years but it has never had a reputation for shooting and killing and this level of recklessness.

"That's not who we are. People are very upset about it. We don't want guns in our community," he said.

Irish Independent

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