Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Doolan challenges Fianna Fail Councillor to get real

5 October, 2005

Sinn Féin's Dublin South East Representative Councillor Daithí Doolan, today challenged Fianna Fail's Gary Keegan, "to get real when talking about Dublin's inner city."

Speaking today Cllr. Doolan said, "Gary Keegan claimed on this morning's Pat Kenny show that residents involved in tackling anti social behaviour in Tom Kelly Road flats were simply dealing with isolated incidents, this is totally untrue, the anti social behaviour has been consistent for several months now and has required an increased Garda presence in the area. He also claimed that these people were a small vocal minority when it came to the redevelopment of the flat complex. The truth is that Cllr. Keegan is totally out of touch with the reality in this inner city flat complex. He was simply trotting out the government line and attempting to defend his own party's inaction in government.

"Unlike my council colleague, when I was contacted by distressed residents in August I helped organise regular meetings with the Garda Superintendent, local Gardaí, youth workers, City Management and residents themselves. These meetings were productive and despite what Cllr. Keegan claimed, the residents played a very important and active role in identifying the problems and working on the solutions. But how would the Councillor have known as he never attended any such meeting himself and has not been in the flats for several months and remains removed from the reality there. I am in daily contact with the residents committee, and only last week the residents felt under such pressure that they organised a protest to draw attention to the fact threat the anti social behaviour had reached a new and very threatening level. Speaking to the residents after the protest I agreed to call for the establishment of a tack force to be set up tackle the causes and consequences of the problems in the area. I have also called on the Minister for Environment Dick Roche to stop dragging his heels on the proposed 60 million euro redevelopment of the flats. The lack of response from the Minister has only exacerbated the situation and undermined community morale.

"Having spoken to some residents today I understand they feel very angry and betrayed by some of the comments made on the radio by the Councillor. But that will in no way distract them from the job at hand, to ensure that their flat complex is made a safer place to live for everyone and that the Minister allows the refurbishment to start as soon as possible."

In conclusion, Cllr. Doolan challenged Cllr. Keegan to, "come and visit Tom Kelly Road flats with me and explain his comments to the residents themselves." ENDS

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