Authorities need to stop being "soft" and "take back the city" from those wandering around like "feral gangs".
That's according to Newstalk Breakfast host Ciara Kelly, who was speaking following reports that an American tourist in his 50s is in serious condition after he was attacked by a group of people on Talbot Street in Dublin on Wednesday.
Gardaí believe the man was attacked ‘by a number of persons’ at around 10:40pm.
The attack is the latest in a series of assaults that have been reported in the capital since the beginning of the year.
In a statement yesterday, Justice Minister Helen McEntee said there will be a 'tough and firm response' from Gardaí.
"There can be no excuse for such violence and intimidation and I fully understand the concerns of the local community," she said.
"A tough and firm response will send out the message that we will not tolerate this thuggery on our streets".
After a man in his 50s was attacked by a group of people on Talbot Street in Dublin, leaving him in a serious condition, Ciara Kelly says we need to “take back the city.”
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Ciara said Irish people should not "feel ashamed" that this attack had happened.
"This isn't us; This isn't normal people, this isn't the Irish people – this is a small subsection," she said.
"People say, 'I wouldn't set foot in that part of town. I wouldn't go North of the Liffey, I wouldn't go on O'Connell Street, I wouldn't go on Talbot Street – which is really unfortunate if you're the Abbey Theatre or the Gate Theatre.
"Whether they know it or not, tonnes of people won't go there because they are afraid and I would be, kind of, among them."
Ciara said Ireland is "missing" a strong Garda presence in the city.
"If you go into a city in Europe like Barcelona or Madrid or Paris or anywhere, you will see visible presences of the police force," she said.
"When you have people like this behaving like this, you need to arrest them, you need to lock them up and get them off the streets.
"If the streets are not safe for ordinary people, that is unacceptable.
"I no longer care what the causes are – yes, [we should] deal with them concurrently – but people like this, I would like to see zero tolerance.
"I would like to reclaim our city and have a situation where ordinary people out for a stroll at night or out for a pint at night aren't afraid of their lives because there are people like this wandering around like feral gangs."
Fellow presenter Jonathan Healy said the fear is that if "normal people lose the city, it's hard to get back".
"Lockdown seems to have been this key game changer for this particular cohort of individuals who felt like they could act with impunity," he said.
"When Gardaí were away doing other things - when there weren't many people around - they took the streets and they still have them in many ways."
Ciara compared the city to Gotham City, from the Batman franchise.
"We need to do something about it and I can only see zero tolerance for this sort of stuff as the way forward," she said.
"It's gone from a frisson of tension – which Dublin used to always have – to being actual fear," said Jonathan.