Locals said to be living in fear following spate of recent murders
Organisers of an anti-violence procession in Dublin’s north inner city this evening have said that increased garda numbers will not alone solve the area’s problems.
The peaceful procession has been planned to show opposition to crime gang violence following a string of recent murders. Four killings linked to the Hutch-Finahan feud have taken place in the locality since February.
Just 500 yards from the Summerhill pub where the last apparent gangland killing took place on April 25th lies an empty garda station that was once one of the busiest in the capital.
The Fitzgibbon Street station was closed for health and safety reasons in 2011, with the over 100 gardaí who were based there being transferred to Mountjoy.
But Seanie Lambe of the Inner City Organisations Network told Newstalk Lunchtime that the challenges facing inner city communities go beyond garda resources.
“We want a restoration in the number of gardaí available to police the streets, but neither they nor we believe the problems in the north inner city can be solved by gardaí alone,” he said.
“[These are issues] rooted in severe disadvantage, unemployment and a lack of opportunities for young people. Unless you address those fundamental social and economic issues, this will continue.”
'Living in fear'
Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Central Mary Lou McDonald said residents were eager to show they are “united and standing strong” against crime.
“The recent spate of murders have had a serious effect on the community. Many residents, families and their children are now living in fear,” she said.
“The community is determined to show solidarity against this violence.”
Local councillor Christy Burke said many residents were left terrified by the violence that has hit the area in recent weeks.
He told Newstalk.com that some local parents had even asked gardaí to escort their children to and from school every day.
The former Dublin lord mayor said one woman he recently spoke to plans not to sit out in her front garden over the summer, as she normally would, because of the escalating violence.
Residents taking part in the procession will gather from 7pm tonight at four local churches: St Agatha’s on North William Street, St Laurence O’Toole's on Seville Place, Our Lady of Lourdes on Sean McDermott Street and St Mary’s in East Wall.
The event will end on nearby Buckingham Street at a monument to the victims of drugs.