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Government rejects need for Civil Defence on Tallaght streets after judge’s call

Judge Anthony Halpin has claimed that there has been a ‘a total breakdown of social order’ in the Dublin suburb.

Flowers, candles, and flags have been left near the footbridge where Dale Creighton was attacked.
Flowers, candles, and flags have been left near the footbridge where Dale Creighton was attacked.
Image: Eamon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Updated 9.13 PM

THE GOVERNMENT HAS said that it would not be appropriate for the Civil Defence to be deployed the aid policing arrangements in the Tallaght area following a call from a judge.

Judge Anthony Halpin sitting in Tallaght District Court had suggested that the Civil Defence be deployed after a number of violent deaths in the area over the past few weeks.

Judge Halpin has claimed that there has been a ‘a total breakdown of social order in the area’ and suggested the Civil Defence as a way of restoring order.

The judges comments come following the recent killings of Michael Devoy and Dale Creighton and were raised in the Dáil this evening by local Labour TD Eamonn Maloney.

Michael Devoy was found shot dead in an apparent gangland-related killing last weekend in the Bohernabreena area of Tallaght.

Just over two weeks previously, Dale Creighton (20) died after being attacked by a group of people on a footbridge at Saint Dominic’s Road in the west Dublin suburb. A number of people have been charged in relation to his killing.

Speaking on behalf of the Justice Minister Alan Shatter this evening, Minister of State Paschal Donohoe said that although it would not be appropriate to comment directly on on remarks made by a member of the Judiciary, the use of the Civil Defence would not be appropriate:

The role of Civil Defence, as a volunteer-based organisation, is to support emergency services and this generally occurs in relation to matters such as dealing with severe weather, flooding, major accidents, fire fighting and searching for missing people. The organisation is trained and equipped accordingly and its role, authority and capabilities do not extend to policing or crime prevention matters.

“In light of this, the Minister considers that it would neither be appropriate nor effective to engage Civil Defence in support of general measures to combat crime,” he added.

Donohoe also said that the Government is in regular contact with the Garda commissioner who outlined that the force have  174 members active within the Tallaght sub-distict and consider this to be adequate to meet policing needs.


Maloney has described the judge’s comments as ‘hysteria’ and called for them to be withdrawn.

Maloney says that Judge Halpin has shown “how little he knows about our community”:

Judge Halpin’s experience of Tallaght seems to be confined to attending the local District Court and his ill-informed comments illustrate how little he knows about the wider community of law abiding residents

“The vast majority of the community in Tallaght continue to support the work of An Garda Síochana in policing the area, and talk of a breakdown of social order is untrue and offensive to those of us who are proud to live here,” says Maloney.

“Judge Halpin should immediately withdraw his remarks and apologise to our community,” he added.

Read: Post-mortem to take place on body of Tallaght shooting victim >

Read: Two more due in court over Dale Creighton death >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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