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Dublin: 10°C Friday 16 April 2021

'A massive disappointment': Tech giant withdraws from Dublin community event following gunfire in area

A lone gunman opened fire outside a school in the area on Tuesday.

The shooting took place outside Riverside Community College on Tuesday
The shooting took place outside Riverside Community College on Tuesday
Image: Google Street View

GLOBAL TECH COMPANY Symantec has pulled out of a community clean-up day in north Dublin after a gunman opened fire near a school in the area. 

The clean-up day is scheduled to take place on 20 April in Corduff in west Dublin, and would have seen 60 flowers and shrubs planted in the area courtesy of the company.

But Symantec staff who had volunteered to take part will now not attend, with the community group involved left rallying to source local volunteers who can help them.

Claire Reid, founder of the Clean Up Corduff group, said that the company claimed the participation of its staff in the event was “too risky” following this week’s shooting

“They’ve always been good to us and we’ve done loads with them over the years,” Reid told TheJournal.ie.

But they just said because of the random acts of violence in the area the insurance wouldn’t cover it, and they couldn’t let staff come into the area.

“It was a massive disappointment because we have 60 plants on order that Symantec is still going to pay for, but the ground hasn’t been dug before so the body of staff they were going to give would have enabled us to do it.”

The company had volunteered up to 15 staff members for litter picking events and planting events each year – and the group had expected a similar turn out this year.

However, that changed after a lone gunman let off a number of shots outside Riverside Community College on the Blanchardstown Road North on Tuesday.

A number of people have since been arrested and released by gardaí, who are continuing to appeal for witnesses.

Volunteer call

The group also said the incident has put a cloud over the event, and is appealing for local residents to volunteer on Saturday 20 April.

“Everyone understands why [Symantec] can’t do it anymore and a lot of people are worried so we moved it and we hope people will help us out now,” Reid said.

But despite the withdrawal, she added that the group would be open to participating with the company in the future.

Reid said that Symantec had contacted the group to offer their assistance and to mark Earth Day this year, as well as agreeing to provide €150 worth of plants and flowers.

“When we know they’re coming on board we try to do something big because they supply so many people,” she added.

“They’ve been very good to us and we would love to work with them again.”

Health and safety

Local Sinn Féin councillor Paul Donnelly described the decision as disappointing, saying that the community would come together to ensure that the volunteer day goes ahead. 

“I am deeply concerned and disappointed at the decision of Symantec to pull out of their annual planting event as part of World Planting Day in nearby Corduff,” he said. 

“I do, however, understand the decision from their perspective and how they would be concerned about the health and safety of their employees in light of a spate of recent shootings in the area.”

He also called on the Corduff community to “stand strong” following the disappointment, and appealed to the wider Dublin 15 community to show solidarity with locals in Corduff.

Commenting on the company’s withdrawal, a spokesman for Symantec told TheJournal.ie that it took its employees’ safety “very seriously”.

In a statement, the spokesman said that it had decided not to have its employees volunteer in the ‘Clean up Corduff’ event as a result.

He added: “Symantec is still supporting the initiative with funding, and we look forward to participating in future initiatives.”

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