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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 16 August, 2018
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"A lot of people here would know people selling drugs... but if they say anything they'll get a bullet in the back of the head"

Members of the public and gardaí gathered last night to discuss crime in the capital.

Members of the public at the Crime Forum last night.
Members of the public at the Crime Forum last night.

VIOLENT ASSAULTS IN the city centre, young children selling drugs openly on the streets, widespread fear and intimidation, lack of gardaí.

These were some of the concerns raised by Dublin city citizens to senior Garda officials and representatives at last night’s Public Forum on Crime in City Hall.

The forum was called by Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr to address the recent spate of gangland killings that have occurred within the city over the past eight months.

Carr said the residents of Dublin was facing an “onslaught” from an international crime cartel.

This has most recently claimed the life of Dublin City Council employee Trevor O’Neill, who was shot dead in a case of mistaken identity while holidaying with his family in Spain.

The forum, which was chaired by RTÉ radio presenter Joe Duffy, heard of the concerns and fears residents were dealing with in their communities.

IMG_20160928_192220 Joe Duffy at the Crime Forum last night. Source: Cormac Fitzgerald

Assault at night

One man, David Lafferty, spoke to those present about being assaulted on Dawson Street one night.

David’s phone and watch were stolen in the robbery and his arm was broken.

He said he ran for a number of streets but came across no gardaí.

“I just want to know why there are no gardaí on Grafton Street, or Harcourt Street or Temple Bar when there are so many people whose phones are being stolen and like me being assaulted and critically injured,” he said.

David said he filed a report with gardaí, but no prosecutions had been made or charges brought against anyone.

David said he believed the criminal had been caught on numerous CCTV cameras, but gardaí had told him they were unable to identify the person in question as of yet.

“As far as I’m aware, nothing is being done,” he said.

Community policing

Another person to speak was Marie Metcalfe, a member of the North East Inner City Community Policing Forum.

Marie spoke of an inner city community feeling the pressure from illegal drugs being sold and a lack of adequate community policing.

She said more gardaí were needed to police the community.

What I came here to say is… we don’t have enough guards to police areas,” she said.

Marie said the presence of armed Garda checkpoints in the areas of the north inner city were welcome, but that resources “for the community” were lacking.

We don’t have enough gardaí to make my community feel safe,” she said

“There’s drug dealing going on every corner… and there’s nobody there to police this because the resources aren’t there to give to us,” she said.

We can’t get kids into the training centre because they’re earning too much money off of drugs.

Another man from the inner city said that many people knew people who were selling drugs in the area, but were afraid to say so due to intimidation.

CtdkGrqXYAIn6BO A man speaking at the Crime Forum last night in Dublin. Source: Cormac Fitzgerald

“A lot of people here would know people who are selling drugs, but they’re afraid to say anything,” the man said.

Because if they say anything they’ll get a bullet in the back of the head.

Response

Assistant Garda Commissioner Jack Nolan addressed the concerns raised by those present at the forum.

IMG_20160928_194331 Assistant Garda Commissioner Jack Nolan addressing the forum last night. Source: Cormac Fitzgerald

He expressed his regret for David being assaulted, and told him gardaí would follow-up with him after the event.

The Garda Commissioner said that more resources were needed on the streets.

“There’s no point in me denying it, there are 2,200 less gardaí than there was in 2009,” he said.

“But we are in the process of rebuilding.

I am conscious of the need to increase our presence on the streets.

He said that outside of murders, crime had been declining in many areas over the past number of years, and gardaí would do everything in their power to continue that trend.

Read: The CSO have cast doubt over garda crime statistics

Read: Rank-and-file gardaí to withdraw labour on four dates in November

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