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Government paying the price for abandoning communities to drugs barons

14 December, 2006


In a joint statement, the Vice Chair of the Dublin Joint Policing Committee, Cllr Larry O'Toole, and MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald, have accused the Government of abandoning swathes of working class communities in Dublin to gangsters and drug dealers.

Cllr O'Toole said: "The sudden spike in media coverage of gangland crimes may serve to focus attention on the increasing number of violent attacks taking place in working class communities across the city. The Gardaí, due to a failure to properly deploy existing officers, to engage with local communities and to priorities resources where they are badly needed cannot simply use lack of resources as a 'get out' clause.

"If Minister McDowell spent more time focussing on dealing with gangland crime, and a little less on trying to satisfy his seemingly insatiable desire for publicity, it would do him credit. He is not paid by the Irish people to get column inches.

Ms McDonald said: "The murder last night of Gerard Byrne in the middle of the International Financial Services Centre shows that the hitmen sent out by the drug barons in Dublin feel they can act with absolute impunity.

"The solution does not lie in macho posturing. Nor in a headlong rush to abandon basic democratic norms and civil liberties. It requires a long-term strategy that does not just crack down on the drugs gangs, but cracks down on the deprivation, inequality and alienation from the state that provides them with such room to manoeuvre."

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