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Clondalkin community is at breaking point - Spain responds to latest shooting

24 January, 2007

Sinn Féin Dublin Mid West general election candidate Joanne Spain has called for a Garda task force to be established urgently in Clondalkin following the shooting dead of a 22-year-old man in Lealand last night. Spain said Clondalkin was at breaking point following this latest gun crime and added that the area feels as though it has been abandoned by the Government.

Ms Spain said:

"Clondalkin is a community in crisis. Just last week there was a shooting in Deansrath. Last year there were several shootings in Quarryvale, North Clondalkin, and of course, the M50 shoot out was directly related to Clondalkin estates also.

"I am exaggerating in no way when I say that people in this community feel like they are at breaking point. They are living in fear for their lives, worried that they will be caught in the cross fire whenever these gangs target their next victim. They feel like they have been abandoned by the Government.

"After last week's shooting in a nearby estate, people want to know why there were no extra Gardaí in the area. The problem is there are no resources going into policing in Clondalkin. The area is in the middle of a massive crime crisis and the Minister for Justice has not seen fit to send any more police in to deal with the situation.

"Over a year ago, Michael McDowell said that we had witnessed the last sting in the tail of a dying wasp. Clearly he has no grasp of the situation. The twenty-three gun murders in the state last year alone are evidence that Operations Anvil and Oakhave failed our communities. McDowell and the Gardaí need to comprehensively review, revise and update its approach to gun and drug crime.

"A task force must be established in Clondalkin to examine the serious escalation in gun crime here.

"In the medium to longer term the Gardaí must be to do whatever it takes to win the support, trust and co-operation of communities. The Minister must take steps to ensure that community policing is duly prioritised. I have also called for a Joint Policing Board to be set up in the South Dublin County Council region, similar to that in Dublin City Council.

"These are the measures - not a reserve force, or ASBOs, or more legislation - that will help to effectively tackle the crisis in Clondalkin." ENDS

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