Social Democrats Co-Leader Róisín Shortall has said she is angry but not surprised at the latest shootings in Dublin this lunchtime. She said that the pattern of tit-for-tat retaliation attacks is now almost an established pattern and one that is completely unacceptable in a civilised society.

It is quite clear that we are dealing with a serious escalation and all of us, in communities across Ireland are paying a heavy price for inaction and inadequate responses in terms of both preventions and responsiveness to a situation that is out of control. The people of North County Dublin are once again at the centre of the story today in relation to the latest two attacks but almost every day we see a community impacted and there is a palpable fear amongst people that there is a growing sense of lawlessness in many areas.

“There is an apparent lack of joined up thinking regarding the impacts of not just garda numbers and the allocation of resources but also the significant cuts to community services in disadvantaged communities – notably the Local Drug Task Forces. the roots of these serious crimes stem from the lack of early intervention and positive garda engagements with residents and community groups across local communities. Community policing is supposed to be a cornerstone of An Garda Síochána’s strategy. Combined with strong community services promotes, such an approach encourages community engagement and develops public trust in the Gardaí, which reduces anti-social behaviour and juvenile crime. It is about taking a preventative, community-first approach to policing.

“The number of Community Gardái has been slashed in the past decade, with nine out of the past ten years seeing a reduction in the numbers across the Dublin Garda Divisions. This year saw a negligible increase of just three new Community Gardaí.

“Since 2009, the numbers have gone from 510 Community Gardaí in Dublin down to only 298 at the end of November this year. That’s less than 60% of the strength ten years ago. This speaks volumes about how we’ve gotten to the point we are not at and unless we begin addressing this in a meaningful way the situation will continue to spiral.”

17th Jan 2019

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