30 more gardaí for Dublin's north inner city, and Fitzgibbon Street garda station to reopen in €5m plan

Reopening Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station, and increasing the visible Garda presence on the street, are just some of the measures announced in a new report on regenerating Dublin’s North Inner City.

What we know so far:

  • Government accepts recommendations of the Mulvey Report for regeneration of the North East Inner City.
  • Ring-fenced funding of €5m will support implementation of the report.
  • Policing resources in the area to increase by 30 additional Gardaí by end 2017.
  • Rutland Street School to remain in state ownership and to be developed as a community hub.
  • Design, planning and procurement relating to the re-opening of Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station to begin.
  • Government to move quickly to put in place Implementation Structures recommended with strong Community Engagement and Government Oversight.

The Taoiseach has this evening formally launched the report, which also inludes multiple actions on education, training opportunities and social supports.

There are also plans for a 'rebrand' – without losing the area's identity – with suggestions that it may be renamed along the lines of Dublin’s North Central City Quarter – however that will be decided by locals.

The Taoiseach announced that with Minister Donohoe’s support, funding is being ring-fenced to support the implementation of the Report which will amount to €5 million. Minister Donohoe said, “this significant funding will ensure the programme is driven from day one and ensures existing funding is used in ways which is smarter and has greater impact. I also expect the local business community and employers will play their role in matching this effort to deliver real change for the individuals and families whose community they operate within”.

There’s been a mixed reaction to the publication of the report.

It was commissioned in the wake of multiple gangland shootings in the area – and contains recommendations for a three year action plan.

Sinn Fein’s Mary-Lou McDonald says locals were not consulted enough.

"The real issues here are issues around housing, issues around education, issues around drug misuse and abuse, mental health. To get this right you have to bring the community with you in a full way, not in a tokenistic way. So from speaking to people, and their initial take, the initial big dissappointment is that it is very light - some people were saying tokenistic - in community involvement."

The Taoiseach said that community participation is vital in the planning, implementation and evaluation to ensure to the success of the programme.

“Without real and direct engagement with the people within the community, we cannot make change. The Government fully accepts that to achieve the impact we all want, the community have to help in leading and driving implementation."

Councillor Éilis Ryan attacked the report for focusing on cliches over actual substance.

"The focus in the report on ‘narrative changing’ is deeply disappointing. After decades of neglect the communities in the North Inner City deserve more than patronising cliches about branding, that are lacking in any real substance. They deserve a clear and focused strategy of public investment in jobs and housing to tackle the inequality and severe disadvantage that they face."

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