A SPATE of violent attacks and killings on Dublin streets shows the urgent need for more Gardaí on patrol, the Dail heard today.
Fianna Fail's Barry Cowen said the recent number of murders carried out in broad daylight had left ordinary citizens afraid to walk the streets.
"There is an epidemic of knife crime," Mr Cowen added - citing the stabbing of Dublin football star, John Cooper, in the city last weekend.
The FF spokesman said that fear of crime was shared by communities around the country.
"The number of gardai on the beat continues to decline," Mr Cowen said.
Tanaiste Joan Burton said she appreciated that any crime was a traumatic experience for the person who suffered it.
She joined Deputy Cowen in expressing the best wishes of the Dail to John Cooper.
But the Tanaiste also argued that Central Statistics Office figures showed that crime rates were not actually increasing.
She also said that Garda management had implemented plans to put more gardai on the beat - especially in central Dublin.
"You appear to be completely unaware of the initiatives garda management have taken to put more gardai on the streets," the Tanaiste said.