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'Give us a seat at task force table' - inner-city groups


Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photo: PA

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photo: PA

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photo: PA

North inner-city community groups want full involvement in a task force set up to tackle the area's regeneration, following a spate of recent gangland murders.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has insisted that a task force will be put in place for the area. Now local community groups want direct communication with the Government to avoid problems similar to those encountered by Limerick when its regeneration programme was put together in 2008.

Community groups will come together tomorrow for a public meeting that will help put together a document on the issue - including ways to fight crime in the area, along with regeneration and improving education.

It is understood that at least three community groups intend to be part of the task force.

The parish priest for the Moyross area of Limerick, Fr Tony O'Riordan, told the Herald that authorities needed to keep their eye on the ball for regeneration, even if they manage to stop further murders.

He said that while the seriously violent crimes had stopped in Limerick, there was still a major drug problem, and intimidation was still rife.

"There are still huge issues to address in Limerick, even though progress has been made," Fr O'Riordan said.

"The danger in Limerick is that the focus has been taken off the area. The underlying issues still exist, even though they were identified 10 years ago. The boil has gone off Limerick.

"You need multi-decade resourcing, not something short term," he added.

Dublin city councillor Christy Burke said the north inner-city community was going into the project with a positive mindset, and expected it to be a great success.

"I believe we'll have a minister as a chair of the task force, direct link to the Taoiseach and senior civil servants.

"The community I'm representing will make sure it won't fail - there's too much to lose now. The only way is up, because they are down," he said.


Meanwhile, Labour leader Brendan Howlin has called for an all-party agreement to a 10-year plan for the area.

"The plan that emerges from such a process must be given long-term support across the board. It cannot be a plan that is adopted in principle now, only for those responsible for implementing it, to cherry-pick the bits that suit them, and to forget those that don't," he said.