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Minister Ahern must act after latest shooting – Ó Snodaigh

22 July, 2008 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Responding to the shooting of a man in his constituency this morning Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD called for higher Garda visibility, on foot and on bicycles, in areas where drug and gun crime levels are high. Deputy Ó Snodaigh expressed concern at the high levels of shootings and an increase in the use of pipe bombs.

He said, "The shooting of a man in Cherry Orchard this morning is the third shooting in four days in Dublin. In between the killing of two men at the weekend and today's shooting there was a pipe-bomb attack on a house in Clondalkin. It is worrying that these types of crime are now happening on a daily basis.

"Of particular concern is a recent spike in the number of pipe-bomb attacks on homes. If one of these devices explodes the potential for innocent casualties is significantly high. They also pose a significant threat to the safety of the Gardaí and members of the Defence Forces who have to make the devices safe.

"New Justice Minister Dermot Ahern's settling in period has come to an end and it is time for him to act. The effectiveness of Operation Anvil is in question and he must now give his evaluation of that operation. If the overtime ban is negatively effecting the operation then the current deployment and use of Garda time must be re-examined in light of this.

"One of the central proposals in Sinn Féin's Community Safety Policy is to have more Gardaí on foot and on bicycles in communities where these types of crimes are happening on a regular basis. The vast majority of the people in these communities are decent, law abiding, working people and have the right to feel safe in their homes. The best way to provide that is to have Gardaí highly visible in the community.

"The fact that many of these crimes happen in broad daylight shows that those responsible have no fear of being caught by the Gardaí. This is a symptom of the shortage of Garda community patrols. The process of civilianisation of administrative Garda duties must be expedited to free up Gardaí, to get them out from behind desks and onto the streets to tackle serious drug and gun crime." ENDS

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