Violent area where ‘families carry the can of misery’

IN little over a month, Dublin’s north inner city has witnessed five violent deaths. .

Gardaí are investigating a sixth.

Prior to the assassination of Niall Mulvihill, there were two fatal stabbings as well a double tragedy in an horrific joyriding incident.

The war on drugs has also stepped up a notch, resulting in a high-profile seizure and arrest of two members of a local drug family last week.

“The area has had is share of headlines. At this stage you are listening to the news bulletins every day to see if anyone else has been injured or shot in the area,” said local Sinn Féin councillor Christy Burke.

Deaths in the area include:

A 46-year-car car park attendant in the Dorset Street area late last Tuesday night. The local man had a number of injuries, but gardaí have yet to determine whether it is a suspicious death.

Taxi driver Robert McGowan, 30, from Drimnagh, was killed when joyriders ploughed into his car in the Ballybough area in the early hours of 11 January.

Three days later, one of the joyriders, Edward Gavin, 16, from Ballybough, was pronounced dead after his life support machine was switched off.

On 20 December, Latvian Alexander Timo Feyev, 25, with an address at Seville Place, was stabbed to death.

Fellow countryman Sergy Strautinish, 33, was charged with his assault causing harm.

On 12 December Patrick Farrell, 38, from Dunne Street, was stabbed to death after he intervened in a row between a couple on Ballybough Road.

Mr Burke said the death toll was having its impact on the community. “Families in the area are left carrying the can of misery. It sends shivers up your spine.”

Fellow councillor and local Labour TD Joe Costello agreed that the level of violence had jumped recently.

“There certainly has been a large level of violence since Christmas. It’s almost at epidemic levels, given the number of fatalities. The area never had a reputation for fatalities. That seems to be happening on a regular basis and is a matter of serious concern.”

Mr Costello said the Government had reneged on its promise to recruit an extra 2,000 gardaí, recruits that were badly needed in areas like the north inner city.

“The gardaí have not got a handle on the main criminal players. They run a fire brigade service - they do the best they can under difficult circumstances,” he added.

“But unless the main criminal gangs are smashed these headlines are inevitable.”

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