Antisocial behaviour has made Dublin city centre like “a third world country”, a local businessman has said.
Ciaran Hogan owns the Clockwork Door Escape Rooms in Temple Bar and said his business has been frequently targeted by thieves in recent months.
“It has got really dire,” he told The Pat Kenny Show.
“Since the lockdown it’s much worse; in the last two or three months, we’ve had our tip jar stolen about three times.”
Mr Hogan said he feels things get worse after dark and he often works the late shift himself so his staff can walk home during the daylight hours.
“The city centre itself has just gone to hell,” he said.
“It’s like a third world country, I’m sorry to say.
“I fear for my staff; when they’re going home at night there are these gangs of people looking very dangerous, very shifty, very desperate.
“It’s hard to do business; I have a lot of tourists come into my business and I say, ‘Guys, get out of the city.’
“That’s my only advice to them.”
Sometimes he sees people he assumes are dealing drugs and all he can do is scowl angrily at them.
“There’s not even a point in calling the Gardaí because I know, firstly, they won’t respond in time and, secondly, they can’t do anything about it,” he said.
“The number of Gardaí on the street has visibly declined in the… [seven years] we’ve been operating now.
“There’s no one on the beat and that’s why there’s this explosion of crime, antisocial behaviour and drug dealing.
“Everything has got so much worse.”
Cllr Nial Ring said Gardaí in Dublin are “working flat out” but simply “haven’t got the resources” to police the city efficiently.
He said a friend of his does early morning deliveries in Temple Bar and has never seen a Garda in the area at that time of day.
“He says he hasn’t seen a Guard and he’s been delivering there for the last year,” he said.
“Not one morning has he ever seen a Guard at 6.30.”
Main image: Gardaí patrol Temple Bar in Dublin. Image: Richard Wayman / Alamy