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Dublin: 9 °C Sunday 19 May, 2019
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"People don't care about Sheriff Street until someone gets murdered"

Social Democrats councillor Gary Gannon, who grew up on Sheriff Street, showed us the area.

Posted by on Sunday, 19 May 2019

DUBLIN’S NORTH INNER-city is back in the headlines this week after the killing of Michael Barr.

The killing is the fifth in the Hutch-Kinahan gang feud this year, three of which took place within 20 minutes’ walk of each other.

But, the area is a complex one, at once a product of deprivation and poor planning and home to a vibrant community.

We took a walk through the area, from the spot where Martin O’Rourke was killed two weeks ago to the scene of Michael Barr’s killing – itself just a few minutes from the spot where Eddie Hutch was killed.

Social Democrats councillor Gary Gannon, who grew up on Sheriff Street, showed us the area. From Oriel Street, straddling the affluence of the IFSC and the deprivation of Sheriff Street, to Buckingham Street where a memorial is erected for the people who have died due to heroin abuse.

The picture Gannon paints is of an area with complex problems – drugs, crime, education, policing – a more layered narrative than that put forward when there’s a shooting.

From an empty plot of land where a primary health centre was promised, to 30-foot walls designed to keep the apartments in the IFSC away from Sheriff Street.

The frustration with the narrative is clear as Gannon talks, both about the good and bad aspects of his area, of how the Fine Gael message of “recovery” was a slap in the face to those struggling with chronic unemployment.

He is a passionate advocate for the area, but not blind to the problems it faces.

As we near The Sunset House pub, he talks about the solutions requiring big conversations, a change in the way we do things. Because, for this part of the capital, the way we do things isn’t working.

Or, as Gannon puts it:

“People don’t care about Sheriff Street until someone gets murdered.”

Video by Nicky Ryan

Read: Kinahan vs Hutch: The latest chapters in a bloody feud

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