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Community of West Tallaght require urgent action not empty promises

19 October, 2004


Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Sean Crowe has this morning said that 'the problems of deprivation, poverty and anti-social behaviour in Tallaght West are not insurmountable but require a long-term commitment by the agencies of the state to effectively and adequately tackle them'.

Deputy Crowe was speaking following a public meeting in The Plaza Hotel in Tallaght West last night, which discussed the findings of a report entitled: 'How are our kids?' The survey was commissioned to ascertain levels of poverty and social exclusion amongst children in the West Tallaght area.

Speaking today Deputy Crowe said:

"Last nights meeting brought together over 200 residents and community activists to discuss the findings of the report and to suggest a common way forward for the community. There was a palpable sense of anger in the community in light of the report, that sections of the media were intent on portraying a purely negative picture of Tallaght. There are many residents and community activists in Tallaght West who are working tirelessly for the betterment of people living in the area.

"The meeting was very focussed on the problems that need to be addressed. The difficulties in Tallaght West stem from the root causes of poverty and years of neglect by the state authorities. It is blatantly obvious that there are no quick fix solutions. However these problems are not insurmountable, they require a long-term commitment by the agencies of the state to effectively and adequately tackle them.

"Minister Willie O‚Dea‚s comments on national television last night are an absolute disgrace. He placed the blame for many of the problems in Tallaght West firmly at the door of the community by claiming that there was a 'lack of community cohesion'. In the same breath Minister O‚Dea admitted that he was not overly familiar with the area. It is typical of this government to shift the blame and make contradictory statements.

"It is important to recognise that there are similar problems of deprivation and poverty across the state which must be tackled also. At a time of unprecedented economic growth in this state the government has failed to invest in whole communities. The considerable wealth generated by the Irish economy over the past number of years has not benefited those most in need.

"Sinn Féin believes that with political will and a multi-faceted approach to the causes of poverty and deprivation that we can overcome these problems. The community require urgent actions not empty promises."ENDS

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