The Minister for Justice has said that fewer than 100 people are involved in gangland violence in north Dublin.
Charlie Flanagan visited Coolock today after three people were shot dead in the space of seven days in the north of the city.
He labelled those involved in organised crime “losers” and called on the local community to work with the Gardaí to bring an end to the rise in violent crime in the area.
“You are talking about a very small number of people in what is a law-abiding population here,” he said.
“I think you are looking at less than 100 people. Obviously there are connections with other areas – connections with Drogheda, connections with north west Dublin and connections with other areas.”
Four men from the north Dublin area have been shot dead so far this year in gangland-style attacks.
“My message to young people in this area is that there is no future in organised crime or drugs or the associated bling that that brings,” said Minister Flanagan
“These are losers and I am calling on the community to work closely with An Garda Síochána to ensure that this current challenge can be surmounted.”
Ministers Flanagan, Bruton and McGrath at Coolock Garda Station meeting Gardai to discuss recent gangland violence pic.twitter.com/ywlrkxyNJS
— Shane Beatty (@ShaneBeattyNews) June 4, 2019
Minister Flanagan was joined by the Communications Minister Richard Bruton and the Minister of State for Disabilities Finian McGrath on the trip to Coolock; however, local representatives voiced anger at the Government’s failure to announce any new measures to combat the rise in violence.
Labour Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin described it as a “self-serving photo opportunity,” pointing to the fact that the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was also "notably absent today.”
“Even as this feud spills into his own constituency, he cannot find the time to join his Minister for Justice and work to find solutions to gangland violence on the streets of Dublin.
He said there will be “no improvement in the lives of those affected” if the Government continues to “treat the ongoing gangland feud as a PR box-ticking exercise.”
He called for the establishment of an independent report into gangland crime in Dublin 17 and new Garda station for the expanding population in Dublin 13.
"Ultimately, this Coolock Garda Station photo-op is an insult to local communities," he said.
Local Councillor John Lyons described the visit as “shameful” and called on the Taoiseach to establish a task-force to address the rise in gangland crime and its causes in the area.
"It is hugely disappointing that the three government ministers had nothing of note to announce
"We need a task-force established that will be responsible for monitoring the work of the various government departments, state agencies and community groups that have a role to play in tackling the many problems faced by people in the area."
He called on the Taoiseach to "find a little time" to meet with the local community to develop a "serious response from Government."