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Dublin: 18°C Thursday 18 August 2022

Former Assistant Garda Commissioner to head up North Dublin Taskforce in wake of violence

The area has seen an increase in violence over the past two years.

Garda Forensics teams examining scene of 39-year-old John Lawless' shooting in Darndale in February 2019.
Garda Forensics teams examining scene of 39-year-old John Lawless' shooting in Darndale in February 2019.

FORMER ASSISTANT GARDA Commissioner Jack Nolan is to head up a taskforce in North Dublin in the wake of violence in Darndale and nearby areas. 

Nolan, who retired from An Garda Síochána in 2017, has been tasked by Dublin City Council with drawing up a report on the current demographic, crime statistics and community services as well as developing a plan to address issues in the Darndale area of North Dublin. 

Local Labour Councillor Alison Gilliland said the report – which is due to be completed by May – will also feed into other surrounding areas in Coolock. “It’s relevant to the immediate Dublin 17 community. They’re all pulling from similar services.”

‘Law-Abiding Community’ 

The area has seen an increase in violence over the past two years. Nolan’s report is not directly linked with the most recent violence in North Dublin this week. 

Gilliland called on the Council to act after the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Eoin Boylan on Clonshaugh Avenue in November last year. 

The Moatview area, off Clonshaugh Avenue in Coolock, has seen a particular increase. It is a part of Coolock controlled by serious criminals Gardaí have been investigating for five years. 

The current feud has claimed the lives of five men – four of whom were in their 20s. 

In June 2019, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan visited Coolock Garda Station after Hamid Sanambar (41) was shot dead in May. 

The week before Sanambar’s killing, Seán Little (22) was found dead in Ballbriggan in North Dublin and Jordan Davis (22) was shot dead in Darndale. 

Flanagan said in June that Coolock is a law-abiding community yet a small number of young males in the locality are “acting in a way that’s totally unacceptable”.

Under Dublin City Council’s new initiative, The ‘Darndale Socio-Economic and Community Plan’ will examine the area under the following categories: population, age profile, education, income levels, employment and crime statistics. 

Nolan is set to carry out a profile of Darndale’s current level of services including existing statutory, community and voluntary groups. 

In addition, there will be a public engagement process with all key stakeholders working and living in the area to gather opinions of local people and community groups.

‘People Feel Abandoned’ 

Labour Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, meanwhile, has called on the Government to implement an area-wide Task Force, similar to 2017′s Mulvey Report and the North Inner City Coalition. 

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The Mulvey Report was commissioned in July 2016 in the wake of killings in the city centre as the Hutch-Kinahan feud erupted. 

At the time, Taoiseach Enda Kenny made a commitment towards a full regeneration of North-Inner City Dublin. 

“There’s an awful lot of good will that can be brought to the table as to what could be fixed, solutions to be found,” Ó Ríordáin told “The community need to know that the State takes it seriously.”

Local Independent Councillor John Lyons, meanwhile, said residents in Belcamp, Darndale and Clonshaugh are “feeling increasingly unsafe” and that “people feel abandoned.”

Lyons said that there needs to be a similar Central Government approach to tackling issues in Coolock as in the North Inner City. 

Former Assistant Garda Commissioner Nolan is to draw up a series of objectives to be implemented over a three-year period.

Local Labour Councillor Alison Gilliland told that early intervention and educational opportunities for children in Coolock and Darndale is vital. 

She hopes Nolan’s report “will build on positive aspects” of the area. “There’s great strength in the community,” she said. 

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