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Library staff and social workers among 110 Dublin council staff assaulted during work last year

Those who fell victim to physical attacks included library staff, park workers as well as street cleaners.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

OVER 110 SERIOUS acts of physical violence were made against Dublin City Council staff in the last year, TheJournal.ie has learned. 

Records released under the Freedom of Information Act show a total of 110 incidents of physical violence were experienced by staff.

Those who fell victim to physical attacks included library staff, park workers as well as street cleaners. 

A small number of social workers reported being attacked while one attack was registered in an ambulance on the way to St James’ Hospital.

Those working on behalf of the council in community sports centres were also assaulted last year.

Oftentimes gardaí have been called to provide protection to council staff when they are carrying out duties in areas which have anti social problems. 

Last month, we reported how council workers were protected by officers as they built a plinth wall in the Sheriff Street area of the north inner city. Garda assistance was sought by the council to make sure the construction work went smoothly. 

‘Disgusts me’

Fianna Fáil councillor for Ballyfermot Daithí de Róiste said he was shocked when he heard the news.  De Róiste said he was also frustrated to hear that many of the attacks happened in his neighbourhood.

He said: “This is a shocking figure. Absolutely disgusts me to see that amount of assaults against people who simply try to make our area a better place to live in.

These people are simply trying to earn a living by cleaning our streets, fixing our paths and roads and maintaining houses.

It’s an utter disgrace that people feel they can attack these workers and no more than anyone who attacks our emergency service works, in my eyes they are nothing but  the lowest of the low. They are scumbags.

Many times, council workers carry out their duties in areas where drug dealing is rife. 

Locals in the north inner city are not satisfied that gardaí are on hand to protect workers but have not dealt with the ever-present drug problem in the vicinity. 

One local told TheJournal.ie that garda cars can be seen from 6am around the area, either protecting workers or monitoring what the local described as “free-for-all drug dealing”.

Drug dealing has always been a problem in the area, but one woman detailed how the level of dealing has escalated to such an extent that she won’t let her children out the front door due to her fear they could become involved in criminality.

She said that Sheriff Street has great people living there and that it is the actions of a handful of people who are giving the area a bad name.

She added: “They start at half six in the morning while the street cleaners are going by. There are people hanging around already at the time looking for crack. It’s just everywhere now.” 

Sheriff Street and its surroundings have borne the brunt of a lot of criminal activity in the past 20 years.

Dublin City Council has been contacted for comment. 

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