News & Media

Coolock Garda Station photo-op an insult to local communities

4 June 2019

Statement by Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin
Spokesperson on Education and Skills, Gaeilge and the Gaeltacht

Labour Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has described a visit by Minster Charlie Flannagan to Coolock Garda station as a 'self-serving photo opportunity'. 

Sen. Ó Ríordáin said:

"Today's visit by the Minister for Justice to Coolock Garda station served to underline just how out of touch the Government has become with the communities devastatingly affected by the ongoing violence in the north side of the city. 

"The Minister's visit did not involve a single engagement with community organisations, youth groups, community workers, school principals or any local drugs task force. The Minister also did not extend an invite to local representatives from the Council or the Oireachtas. Clearly, Minister Flannagan does not feel the need to build cross-party and community support in tackling this crisis. 

"Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was also notably absent today. Even as this feud spills into his own constituency, he cannot find the time to join his Minister for Justice and work to find solutions to gangland violence on the streets of Dublin. Today's press event at Coolock amounts to little more than a self-serving opportunity. 

"If the government continue to treat the ongoing gangland feud as a PR box-ticking exercise there will be no improvement in the lives of those affected. I would suggest that Minister Flannagan looks to his own party for examples of what real leadership on such issues look like. 

"While he was Taoiseach, Enda Kenny made real strides towards bringing gang violence under control in the northeast inner city. He met with community organisations, he involved people from across the political spectrum and he made meaningful decisions such as commissioning the Mulvey report. He didn't rest on press conferences at Garda Stations. 

"Minister Flannagan has not listened to calls from elected representatives, such as myself, and community organisations who believe it is now time for a Mulvey report for Dublin 17 and surrounding communities. I would also call on him to consider my petition for a new Garda station needed for the vastly expanding area in Dublin 13, due to reach 50,000 in population in the coming years.

"Ultimately, this Coolock Garda Station photo-op is an insult to local communities."