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Gun crime must be high on Policing Committee's agenda - O'Toole

27 November, 2006

Speaking ahead of a meeting of the Dublin City Joint Policing Committee this evening, the Committee’s Vice Chair Cllr Larry O’Toole has said that dealing with serious gun and drug crime must be high on the Committee’s agenda. Cllr O’Toole, himself the survivor of a gun attack in a Church in Ballymun, said that the rising tide of gangland violence is a consequence of the Government’s failure to tackle the drugs issue,  and that gun culture is increasingly claiming the lives of people uninvolved in crime.

The Dublin North East General Election candidate said: “The rising tide of gangland violence in this state is indicative of the failure of this Government to tackle the issue of drugs from which these gangs derive their funding. The gang culture of guns and paid assassinations is not restricted to those people involved in crime. The recent deplorable murder of young mother Baiba Saulite, and the murder last year of 22 year old Donna Cleary in my own constituency, shows the natural consequences of a gun culture allowed to blossom unchecked. As the victim of a shooting myself, which I was fortunate to survive, I know only too well the devastation and trauma these kinds of attacks can create for a person’s family.

“Tonight, at the Dublin City Joint Policing Committee, I will be proposing that dealing with serious gun and drug crime be high on the agenda for workshops designed to bring together the local community and the Gardaí in an effort to combat those people who are a plague on communities. It is my strong view that workshops should be solution-focused, ignoring the gimmicks and publicity seeking on law and order we have seen recently.

“As well as drugs and gun crime, I will be proposing other issues including anti-social behaviour, community restorative justice, Garda deployment and domestic violence for consideration. I will be hoping for cross-party support for these proposals, but also looking to support those initiatives that come from the other parties on the Committee."  CRÍOCH

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