'I've never really felt safe' - Dublin's anti-social behaviour problem

Anti-social behaviour has been thrust back into the spotlight following a series of incidents in Dublin over the last few days
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

12.46 25 Jun 2024

Share this article

'I've never really felt safe'...

'I've never really felt safe' - Dublin's anti-social behaviour problem

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

12.46 25 Jun 2024

Share this article

The issue of anti-social behaviour has been thrust back into the spotlight following a series of incidents in Dublin.

There are fresh calls for security to be tightened on Dublin Bus after a passenger was viciously assaulted by a group of youths on Friday.

The man was attacked by the gang armed with belts on a bus to Blanchardstown – with a large amount of blood left splattered outside the driver’s cabin.


Separately a Canadian tourist was attacked on Cathal Brugha Street in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Gardaí were also called to the scene of a mass "brawl" on Burrow Beach in Sutton yesterday evening involving a group of young people. Journalist Kat O'Connor told The Pat Kenny Show incidents of anti-social behaviour are nothing new.

"I've been living in Dublin 29 years now and I don't think I've ever really felt safe," she said.

"It's not really a new thing for me - I feel like even just walking down the street now there's a feeling of uncertainty there.

"We are hearing of these occurrences lately of attacks on buses or attacks in broad daylight.

"We should have that safety but it's really not there anymore".

'We know we have issues'

Green Party Councillor for Dublin City Janet Horner told the show there is a "consistent perception" about the capital.

"We'd be lying and we'd be naive if we say there's not problems in Dublin," she said.

"We know we have issues with addiction, we've got issues with dereliction.

"When we have instances like we had on Dublin Bus... and those really take off it does impact on people's perception of using public transport."

Cllr Horner said such anti-social behaviour incidents can see people turn away from using public transport "because it just doesn't feel safe anymore".

"If people don't feel safe they won't use public transport, they won't use the city and they will continue to get their information on what's happening on the streets and on public transport from social media and that will feed the narrative that they're not safe".

Anti-social behaviour and social media

Cllr Horner said there are two issues at play here.

"How safe [Dublin] is, how much violence there is happening on our streets and our public transport... and what people perceive to be the reality," she said.

"A lot of the time the perception is worse than the reality."

Ms O'Connor said she believes sharing such incidents on social media is actually beneficial.

"If we're not having these conversations, if we're not sharing this and warning people, nothing's going to get done," she said.

"I find any time there's an issue - especially with women's safety in Dublin - there's huge uproar.

"I feel if it's not shared online, whether that's in an article in a newspaper [or] a TikTok video, if it's not shared people are almost naive in a sense.

"I'm proud to be from Dublin, I love living in Dublin - but I think being aware of what's going on is really important too".

'COVID generation'

Cllr Horner suggested a lack of services could be one factor.

"Particularly during COVID there's a generation of young people that were left behind," she said.

"We are seeing a huge amount of behavioural issues associated with young people that I think missed out on the really vital services of youth services, of schools, of social workers identifying early interventions.

"That's one factor, there's a whole load of other ones".

Cllr Horner added that Dublin City Council is taking these issues "seriously".

Main image: A man walks onto O'Connell Street in Dublin city centre in June 2010. Image: Hemis/Alamy

Share this article

Read more about

Anti-social Behaviour Burrow Beach Canadian Tourist Cathal Brugha Street Dublin Dublin Bus JANET HORNER Kat O'Connor Public Transport Social Media Sutton The Pat Kenny Show

Most Popular