Saturday 16 December 2017

We must unite to end gang violence - Archbishop

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. Pic Steve Humphreys
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. Pic Steve Humphreys

Sarah MacDonald

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has called on the people of the north inner city to unite in the face of the latest gangland shooting, warning "those who cultivate violence thrive on our silence".

He called for a "courageous coalition of strong people" to come together to challenge the "despicable and evil" gangland violence.

In strongly worded comments following the shooting dead of senior IRA member Michael Barr, Dr Martin said people must not close their eyes to what they know and appealed for some mechanism which would allow the substantial intelligence on the streets to be heard by the gardaí.

And he said the "good honest men, women and children of parts of our inner city" must not be abandoned.

"The elderly live in fear. Their children are exposed to carnage on their streets. Their neighbourhood is being vilified; they are held to ransom by despicable people involved in the rackets of death.

"The promoters of violence think that they can impose their interests on society. We have to show them that together we are stronger than them and that we can bring them down," he said.

Responding to the Archbishop's call, the former Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke, told the Irish Independent that he is willing to mediate with others between the feuding gangs to try and bring an end to the violence.

He visited people living in the area yesterday and said some local authority tenants were looking for transfers out of the neighbourhood.

"It has really got completely out of hand. There is an atmosphere of fear," he said.

He appealed to those who are engaged in violence to "please, please, please restrain from the killings".

He said his own grandchildren have had to pass three murder scenes - Eddie Hutch's, Martin O'Rourke's and Michael Barr's - in the last nine weeks on their way to school. He said Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station must be re-opened and Cabra Garda Station to be opened on a full-time basis.

Irish Independent

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