Forum on Dublin inner city crime hears of 'children reenacting Regency Hotel murder'

Dubliners at last night's event shared their concerns about violence and drug dealing in the area

Forum on Dublin inner city crime hears of 'children reenacting Regency Hotel murder'

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A public forum on inner city crime in Dublin has heard that children in the area are 'reenacting the Regency Hotel shooting'.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr organised the public forum, which was held in City Hall last night.

Around 100 people attended the event, which was held to give members of the public an opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns.

Kieran Mulvey - who is serving as head of the Government's north inner city task force - and gardaí were among those in attendance, with RTÉ presenter Joe Duffy moderating the forum.

According to Newstalk reporter Richard Chambers, who attended the event, the majority of concerns related to the ongoing Hutch/Kinahan gangland feud or the street-level drug dealing & intimidation associated with it.

A number of Dubliners in attendance shared very strong views about the situation.

A man who works at Belvedere Youth Club on Buckingham Street told the crowd that "we're coming into situations in our youth service, where the children are reenacting the Regency Hotel murder.

"Ten year old boys are having pool cues in their hand, and the conversation is around 'you take the Glock, you take the AK-47, and I'm waiting in the car. This is going on on a regular basis."

One resident observed: "A lot of people here would know people who are selling drugs - but they're afraid to say anything. When you say anything, you might get a bullet in the back of the head.

"The young fellas, the kids are selling the drugs," he added,

Another argued: "The biggest demand [...] is the demand created by the people in Dublin 4, Dublin 6 - wealthy people, who buy the drugs [...] and our communities suffer.

"Those who are using the recreational drugs - they are our college students, they are our middle class. Until they stop and take responsibility, what are we going to do?"

Others described their experiences being mugged or assaulted in the inner city area, while there were also calls for the deployment of more gardaí.

Kieran Mulvey pointed out that he himself had encountered drug dealing on the inner city streets.

"I've come across open drug dealing [...] I was asked on two occasions was I interested in something - drugs, no doubt about it. They were young adults.

"Unless the drug problem is solved, we're wasting our time. People don't wish to walk in the area beyond a certain time of the day. And this is within 100 yards of the main boulevard of our capital city, which is the centre of our War of Independence.

"This is the legacy we've left? We have to change it and now is the opportunity to change it," he said.

The most senior gardaí in the capital and Assistant Garda Commissioner Jack Nolan attended the forum, along with many other officers.

One officer urged residents: "Give us those nuggets of information. That provides maybe a key piece of a jigsaw that will enable us to do something."