Judge calls for Civil Defence after ‘social order breakdown’

Comments follow deaths of two men in violent incidents in Dublin suburb in recent weeks

Judge Anthony Halpin said: “I am really concerned about public order in Tallaght ... I think we might need to call for the assistance of the Civil Defence to assist the gardaí.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

A judge has suggested the Civil Defence be drafted in to help police the Dublin suburb of Tallaght following a number of violent deaths in the area.

Judge Anthony Halpin, sitting in Tallaght District Court, said he was seriously concerned about a "total breakdown" of social order in the area.

“I am really concerned about public order in Tallaght. We have had so many incidents,” he said. “I think we might need to call for the assistance of the Civil Defence to assist the gardaí. There is a total breakdown of social order that we are going to have to tackle, a total breakdown.”

Last weekend, Michael Devoy (41) was shot and his body dumped in a remote area of Tallaght. He had been wearing a bulletproof vest. Gardaí are investigating the possibility he was targeted in a revenge attack after being released from prison earlier this month.


On January 1st, Dale Creighton (20) was attacked at a footbridge at St Dominic's Road in Tallaght. A number of people have appeared before the courts in connection with his death.

Responding to the judge’s comments last night, a Garda spokesman said the force applied an optimum use of resources in the area.

“The situation is kept under review and paramount consideration is given to the needs of the residents of Tallaght,” he added. “Garda management is satisfied that a full and comprehensive policing service is being delivered to the communities in Tallaght and that current structures in place meet the requirements of the delivery of an effective and efficient policing service.”

The Civil Defence is a volunteer-based organisation that supports emergency services and has 4,500 members.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times