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Dublin: 17 °C Sunday 19 August, 2018
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Children in Dublin's north inner city want violence and drugs off their streets

As the Kinahen-Hutch feud claims another life, a report written by children calls for more gardaí and the end to violence.

People selling drugs, people fighting, people drinking on every corner.

THIS WAS JUST one of the things children and young people living in Dublin’s north-east inner city said they would like to see change in their area.

In the aftermath of yet another fatal shooting in Dublin linked to the Hutch-Kinahan feud, community workers and ministers Katherine Zappone and Paschal Donohoe listened on as children listed off what they need from government to improve their future.

The report ‘Building Hope for Brighter Futures’, launched on Wednesday at the National College of Ireland, contains the unique views of 285 children living in the area and their hopes for their communities.

The report clearly demonstrates that the children and young people want their voices to be heard by adults, both locally and at policy level, in particular they want the ‘important people’ to hear their story.

The areas they want to see tackled include drug problems, homelessness, broken facilities and recent violent incidences in the area.

“To make things better… you could make everybody happy, don’t rob cars, or selling drugs and all that. When I’m playing out I can see it. I just ignore it,” said one child contributor from Rutland Street.

Children from an after school support programme (children aged between four and 11 years old) said five things they want to change about their area are:

  • I don’t like the dirt in the area
  • No drug dealers
  • I don’t like seeing fires burning. Always burning, burning, burning
  • I don’t want to live in a flat beside a lot of garbage
  • Sometime people are little bit angry and grouchy

While children over 10 from the Belvedere Youth Service said they didn’t want cars and bikes being robbed and want to see an end to homelessness. Some children between four and nine from Island Key afterschool programme want people to “stop burning cars”.

They’re calling for more gardaí on the streets, more recreational resources, and more support services.

The things they love about their local area is the sense of community spirit, the caring people who live there and “when something bad happens, people come together”.

DUBLIN SHOOTING 0035_90513648 A young boy at the scene of the fatal shooting in Dublin yesterday. Source: Eamonn Farrell

With yet another person falling victim to gangland crime, Donohoe picked up on this sentiment, stating:

On days like this we have to remember all that is great about the communities that are here. We have to remember all that is great about the families that live here.

Professor Derick Wilson who contributed to the report said it is vital that the recommendations in the report are implemented.

He said the “full energy” of the corporate, civic and gardaí need to be brought together to ensure that access of opportunities are opened up to children in the area.

Listing of some of the items, such as not wanting to live in dirty area, Wilson said: “These are these are important themes in this report. We would not tolerate it in the place we live, so why should they tolerate it.”

While some companies in the areas already offer internship programmes to locals, he urged corporation companies in the north inner city do more to invest in the local people.

If the corporates can really invest in an infrastructure fund and help develop their careers paths… a fund that would stand with them and energise them…
We really need to value or children north and south and not see them as problems.

Read: Simon Coveney on the search for 6 TDs to swap sides in secret ballot>

Read: ‘We’re privileged to be electing the next party leader and the next Taoiseach’>

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