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TD disgusted at failure to prosecute man responsible for crippling five-year-old girl

25 August, 2003


Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe has expressed his continuing disgust at the failure of the Director of Public Prosecutions to bring charges against the man responsible for crippling Elizabeth Heapes, a five-year-old girl, last November. He went on to accuse the Government of seeming to be 'happy to tolerate anti-social behaviour and thuggery in Tallaght and other disadvantaged areas of Dublin' and 'treating the working class people of Tallaght and elsewhere with absolute contempt'.

Speaking after attending a protest organised by the family outside the DPP's Office the Dublin South-West TD said: "The Heapes family has been betrayed by the authorities of this state. It is disgusting that the man who pinned a five-year-old girl against iron railings with his car during a violent row, crippling her for life, can just walk away. To add insult to injury, the family of the man involved intimidated the Heapes' from their family home in Tallaght.

"Michael McDowell claims to be Minister for Justice. Would he mind telling the Heapes family, and the people of my area, where this justice he speaks of is to be found because there's very little of it in the constituency I represent. From the Heapes family, to the murder of Ben Smith five years ago this week, to the Kevin Reilly case, the Government seems happy to tolerate anti-social behaviour and thuggery in Tallaght and other disadvantaged areas of Dublin. People in the area are feeling more and more alienated from the authorities and their perceived lack of interest in tackling the problems of the area.

"We need the authorities to take action against anti-social behaviour and against the families who are heavily involved in it. We need the resources and assistance necessary to tackle the causes of anti-social behaviour. And above all, we need the Government and the institutions of this state to stop treating the working class people of Tallaght and elsewhere with absolute contempt." ENDS

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