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Ó Broin TD accuses Minister Fitzgerald of abandoning the community of Clondalkin

5 May, 2016 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Mid-West Eoin Ó Broin has stated that the people of Clondalkin have been let down by successive governments, that have failed to invest in the services and supports needed to tackle the causes of gun and drug crime.

Speaking this morning during a Dáil debate on gun and drug crime, Deputy Ó Broin challenged his constituency colleague, acting Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, on her party’s slashing of resources for the Gardaí and community-based services.

Ó Broin said:

“Clondalkin is a vibrant and thriving part of our city and as a community we take great pride in who we are and where we live.

“Unfortunately Clondalkin continues to experience a high level of gun and drug related crime.

“ The first Ministerial Task Force report on drugs was published twenty years ago. This report highlighted the link between drugs, crime and socio-economic deprivation. Clondalkin was highlighted as one of the areas most affected.

“Last week the  Clondalkin Drug and Alcohol Task Force published a report on the links between drugs, crime, poverty and inequality. It is a damning indictment of twenty years of failure by Fianna Fáil and Fine governments to tackle the causes of gun and drug crime.

“One third of the population in the drugs task force area are at risk of poverty; Unemployment in parts of Bawnogue and North Clondalkin is as high as 45%; In some schools one in three young people leave school with significant literacy and numeracy difficulties; Illegal drug use among 15 to 34 year olds is as high as 46%.

“The Clondalkin Drug and Alcohol Task Force Report confirms that tackling gun and drug crime is not just a matter of more and better policing, it is a matter of investing in social and economic regeneration for our most deprived communities.

“Minister Fitzgerald and her colleagues in Government have abandoned the community of Clondalkin. Under her watch, funding for the community and voluntary sector and the Drugs task Force has been cut by up to 45%,  Community Safety Forum funding by 50% and Community Development Programmes by 100%.

“They have underfunded the Gardaí, schools, youth and sporting facilities and abandoned large sections of Clondalkin to long term unemployment, poverty and deprivation.

“The people of Clondalkin need more that than just media condemnations of the rising level of gun and drug related crime. They want to know what the government is going to do to do to tackle the poverty, inequality and deprivation that lies at the root causes of so much drug and gun crime.”

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