New City Centre Taskforce Bran...


New City Centre Taskforce Branded 'A Waste Of Time'

Ellen Butler
Ellen Butler

02:49 13 Apr 2024

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Sinn Féin has branded plans for a new taskforce to tackle anti-social behaviour in the city centre a waste of time.

Taoiseach Simon Harris recently announced a new body would be set up to come with solutions and ways to improve safety in the capital.

A memo is being prepared, and is expected to go before Cabinet within the next few weeks.

It comes after a meeting between the Taoiseach, Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris yesterday.

But Sinn Féin's Justice Spokesperson, Pa Daly, thinks it's a blatant publicity stunt;

"We had meetings last summer with business groups, workers, and other people who use the city centre.

"There's no need for a new taskforce. The answers are already there - and that is visibility of policing, particularly in the city centre."

Deputy Daly is also calling for anti-social behaviour to be tackled at the root;

"The closure of HSE clinics around Dublin and the centralisation of services has not helped. They've been closed under Fine Gael's watch.

"That's increased the number of drug users, for example, in the city centre.

"...put more investment into youth workers around the city, whose funding has been cut over the last number of years."

A number of Dublin city councillors across the political spectrum are opposed to the plans.

Many have likened the new taskforce to the existing Joint Policing Committee, which is already tasked with keep the streets of Dublin safe.

"Very welcome development"

However, the plans have been warmly welcomed by others.

Fianna Fáil MEP for Dublin, Barry Andrews, is among those who've voiced their support for the taskforce.

He says he's looking forward to engaging with it, adding "the safety of Dubliners is paramount and recent disturbances have shown that action needs to be taken to ensure that people can enjoy our city without fear".

Transport police

While work continues to set up the new taskforce, Tánaiste Micheál Martin has been expressing his desire for a dedicated transport police to be set up.

Speaking at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis, which is taking place at the Dublin Royal Convention Centre, the party leader said a targeted approach to anti-social behaviour on public transport is needed.

He says the government is committed to making it happen.

It's one aspect of government plans that's being welcomed by Sinn Féin's Pa Daly;

"That's something certainly that we've been calling for and we agree that there should be either more adequate patrols or a dedicated transport police.

Anybody who takes a train along the Luas line will know that there are people harrassing people for money and worse than that.

"So anything that can be done to address that, we would agree with."

Follow @98FM on Twitter for the latest Dublin news.

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City Centre Taskforce Drew Harris Dublin Royal Convention Centre Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis Helen McEntee Micheál Martin Pa Daly Simon Harris Sinn Fein

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