Tuesday 20 March 2018

Northside areas 'up to their necks in feuds,' says TD

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock. Photo: Tom Burke
Fine Gael TD Noel Rock. Photo: Tom Burke
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

A Fine Gael backbencher has called on the Government to introduce a second fund for Dublin's northside on the back of Wednesday's double murder in Ballymun.

Dublin North West TD Noel Rock said the Government must replicate the response taken in relation to the north inner city, which has dealt with a series of similar shootings in broad daylight.

In what was one of his final acts as Taoiseach, Enda Kenny sanctioned the setting up of a €1.6m taskforce designed to lead regeneration in the north inner city.

Now, his party colleague wants a similar approach to be taken in response to Wednesday's horrific violence in Ballymun's Balbutcher Drive, which saw two people gunned down in cold blood.

"Here in the northside, we are up to our necks in feuds and it's clear that we need further assistance in the north-west of Dublin to prevent crime and the causes of crime," Mr Rock told the Irish Independent last night.

"In 2016, in response to the Regency shooting and other such incidents, a special north inner city fund was established.

"I strongly believe such a fund is sorely needed for Ballymun, Finglas and surrounds to give investment where needed."

Mr Rock's proposal secured the backing of the other two TDs in the constituency, Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall and Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis.

Ms Shortall said that the issue of Garda resources must now be looked at urgently and that the Government's response must focus on sustainable solutions.

"The fact of the matter is there have been so many cutbacks at community level," Ms Shortall said.

"Community organisations need to be properly resourced, so that people who do wish to come forward with information can have the confidence to do so."

Mr Ellis said it was essential that Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan "steps up to the plate" and takes urgent action.

Irish Independent

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