Taoiseach to visit Dublin communities affected by gangland crime

Taoiseach to visit Dublin communities affected by gangland crime

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will visit hard-hit Dublin communities where three people have been shot dead in recent days in a bid to show his "revulsion" at the killings.

Mr Varadkar confirmed his plans today as rival parties warned no one should be living in fear in their own neighbourhood and that the Government must finally tackle the gangland crisis.

Asked about the spate of killings in recent days during the latest Dáil leaders questions debate, Mr Varadkar insisted the Government has "made a lot of progress in tackling organised crime".

However, admitting the problem has not been addressed, he said he will visit Coolock and Darndale on Dublin's north side in the coming days to show solidarity with the affected communities.

Noting the fact Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has already committed to visiting the areas, the Taoiseach said: "I want to share with the House [the Dáil] our collective revulsion at what has happened... I will do the same as soon as I can find a little bit of time.”

Mr Varadkar was responding to Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane, who was speaking on behalf of his party as Mary Lou McDonald was in the Midlands North West European count centre in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

Mr Cullinane hit out at the Government, saying "good people, hard-working people" are being put at risk and that they "have a right to feel safe in their own homes and own communities".

Claiming gardaí are being forced to operate "with one hand behind their back" being of resources issues, he said:

People in those communities are living in fear. They deserve better.

Meanwhile, asked about the shootings at the Midlands North West count centre, Ms McDonald said communities living under the threat of violence are having their safety "robbed" from them.

"People in Darndale and Coolock are afraid, but it can't just be a policing response as important as that is. It's worth remembering that successive governments have robbed communities in Coolock and beyond of the resources they need to create really safe communities.

People living in Darndale, people living in Coolock have a right to feel safe. It shouldn't be the case in the city of Dublin or anywhere else that some communities are protected and have a sense of community and others don't.

"The truth is communities like Coolock and Darndale have been abandoned and have been left behind," she said.

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