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Doolan --Communities should expect accountable Gardaí presence

20 March, 2004

Sinn Féin Representative for Dublin South East Daithí Doolan after speaking with residents in Dublin's inner city called on Minister for Justice Michael McDowell to ensure that inner city communities can look forward to a future with "accountable policing in their communities".

Mr. Doolan said:

"Some of our communities continue to live under siege from anti social behaviour, including open drug dealing, yet these same communities have grown skeptical of any response from the Gardaí. Here in the inner city communities are demanding a Garda force that works in partnership with and is accountable to the community they are paid to serve and protect. Yet the Garda Síochána has remained largely unreformed since its establishment 80 years ago. Their structure remains stuck in a bygone era. To ensure we have a police force with the ability and will to respond to the issues in our communities Sinn Féin demands:

1 The setting up of an independent Garda Ombudsman

2. The setting up of a civilian Policing Board

3. The setting up of Community Policing Partnerships at Garda District level."

Mr. Doolan concluded by challenging the Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform to "publicly debate these issues. The Minister should hold proper community consultation process on these issues. Such a process must be comprehensive and inclusive. It is only through such consultation that our communities can look forward to a reformed, updated Garda Siochána that guarantees accountability, service and protection for all." ENDS

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