Locals fear being ‘shot on way to the shops’

Community workers in an area hit by three feud murders have called on Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to visit the locality and reassure people who fear being “shot on their way to the shops”.

Activists in Dublin’s north inner city said there should have been “an immediate response” by the Government to the shootings but said that no one has even bothered to ring them.

Three people have been shot dead in 11 weeks in the area by the Kinahan crime cartel, which is feuding with the rival Hutch gang.

Community leaders said the political parties negotiating deals for the next government were too busy fighting among themselves to actually see “what we’re living with in this area”.

The groups are considering holding a peaceful demonstration, possibly to coincide with the new government, to send a message that “the shootings and drug dealing must stop”.

Anna Quigley of Citywide Drugs Crisis Campaign said that there was reputedly a list of people “lined up to be killed” on top of three people already shot dead in the locality.

“A lot of those would be in the area. What other community has ever had to live with that?” she asked. “That there is a list of people lined up to be killed. And where’s the minister of justice? She should come over.”

Marie Metcalfe of the Community Policing Forum said the minister, who is involved in talks over the next government, hadn’t even bothered to make a statement about what’s happening in the area.

“They are too busy fighting among themselves to actually see what we’re living with. We’re not involved in the feud, but we’re living the feud. There has been nothing from the Government asking is there anything we can do to help.”

She said the community had already been devastated from 24-hour open drug dealing in the area and the intimidation with that.

“The situation before the shootings kicked off was the community was drowning. Now we have the feud on top of that of the drugs,” she said. She said before people were scared to go to the shops because of dealing on their doorsteps, now “they could be shot on their way”.

Ms Metcalfe said that when homeless man Jonathan Corrie died near the Dáil in December 2014 homelessness became a “huge issue” — despite the fact that rough sleepers were dying in her area and no one cared.

She said it appeared that the only way the Government would respond to the shootings if someone was shot “on their doorstep” near the Dáil.

The frustration and anxiety among activists in the area was on display at yesterday’s meeting, which was organised by the Inner City Organisations Network.

Network chairman Seanie Lambe said the criminality and violence on the streets was shocking and “particularly shocking” for locals.

“The reaction of people when they hear a siren or a helicopter, the automatic reaction is that someone else has been shot.”

He said the area had been “demonised” and that there was a perception that locals were “helpless and hopeless”, which was not true.

Pat Gates of Young People At Risk said: “The state has abandoned people, particularly the young people of this community to crime barons and drug lords.”

Yesterday afternoon, the justice minister and the Taoiseach issued a statement that “all necessary resources including overtime” would be provided to gardaí.


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