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New Garda recruits set to be stationed in areas hardest hit by gang violence

A total of 55 Garda have been assigned to the Coolock and Blanchardstown areas.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

 NEARLY 50% OF new Garda recruits will be sent to the areas in Dublin and Louth where gang violence has been most prevalent, the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan announced today. 

With 201 new Garda completing their graduation from Templemore today, many will now be assigned to some of the areas worst hit by gang murders and violence in recent weeks. 

Twenty-eight new Garda have been assigned to the Coolock area of Dublin, with a further 27 set to be stationed in Blanchardstown.

Three fatal shootings, linked to the drugs trade, have taken place in the Coolock/Darndale areas in recent weeks. In April, shots were fired outside a school in the Blachardstown area in the middle of the afternoon.

Another 30 new recruits will now be assigned to Drogheda. Last month, Commissioner Drew Harris had already promised to send new recruits to Drogheda in response to recent violence in the town. 

In a statement, Flanagan said: “These newly attested members, who were already earmarked for these areas before the recent murders, will help strengthen the Garda response to gang violence and increase public safety in their communities.”

“These new recruits have been assigned to stations around the country where working with their colleagues they will provide high visibility policing that will ensure that ordinary people can go about their lawful business safely,” Flanagan added.

In total, 120 of the 201 Templemore graduates will be stationed in Dublin divisions. 

Speaking to reporters today Harris said: “Visibility is very important in those communities, as is community policing. We want to be sure we’re in those communities offering reassurance that we are the forces of law and order and we’ve got a grip on that.”

He appealed to those living in the communities affected by gang violence to help police in their investigations. 

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In response to questions about whether gardaí had enough resources to respond to the recent gangland murders and other drug trade-related violence, Harris said:

“We have put a lot of resources, a lot of emphasis, a lot of time and effort into the investigation of those, but also into other proactive work around organised crime gangs. There is not a week that goes by when we don’t have a major success around the possession of drugs and bringing people to justice.”

Harris also responded to the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin’s comments earlier this week that “show funerals” for slain gang members would no longer be allowed. 

Martin was referring to funerals that seek to glorify gang membership and feature large displays of wealth and gang regalia. 

“A funeral should not in effect become a show of strength. We will want to make sure we play our part to make sure the law is not broken and people see the forces of law and order are in control of this,” Harris said. 

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