Boxing clubs and self-defence classes have reported an increase in Dubliners seeking their training following an uptake in violent attacks in the city.
Newstalk Reporter Sarah Madden on The Pat Kenny Show spoke to Spartan Boxing Fitness trainer Simon Dalton, who said more people are looking for lessons.
“Especially since the pandemic, it's literally been flooded with lots of clients looking to get fit,” he said.
Mr Dalton, however, also said there are more reasons people learn to box beyond fitness.
“One of the best things about boxing is that it's not just a fitness activity,” he said.
“You're learning how to box, how to defend yourself, rather than just going to the gym.
“You're actually learning to maybe get more confidence in yourself, get stronger, fitter, if you have some situation that you need to take care of yourself.”
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One Spartan boxer told Sarah she “feels more protected” thanks to her lessons.
“Especially at night, when I’m waiting for the bus, it’s not a good area,” she said.
Another boxer said the city is only getting “rougher” with each passing day.
“It’s a good idea people are taking more responsibility for themselves,” he said.
Self-Protection Academy Instructor Eddie Gavin told Sarah the recent string of violent attacks in Dublin have encouraged more people to look for help.
“If I had everybody who sent me text messages to join in the last month [come here], the hall would not be big enough,” he said.
As a Krav Maga instructor – a form of defence developed by the Israeli military – Mr Gavin said it is essential “ordinary people defend themselves”.
He has also observed an uptake in “corporate self-defence classes” - particularly from businesses in Dublin City Centre.
“A lot of companies will have a wellness program. It's nearly in every company: yoga, pilates,” he said.
“More and more, they’re saying ‘is there any chance we can get a self-defence workshop?’.
“These people work in the city they commute into the city [and] the city has become not a great place.”
'We need to be realistic'
Green Party Councillor and Northside Partnership Team Leader Dearbháil Butler said communities need to be “realistic” when it comes to safety on the streets.
“We're not going to have Gardaí on every single street,” she said.
“Look at it from a difference approach of self-awareness – people need to be more aware of surroundings.
“If there’s a big gang of people on your side of the road, cross the road.
“Putting your bag across your shoulder, having a bottle of water in your hand with the lid open so if someone comes near you can squirt the water.
“Just all of those little tips have just been able to protect yourself... There's no reason I suppose for you to put yourself in unnecessary danger.”