Meeting of Temple Bar residents hears of local drug-use and violence

Mannix Flynn says patience running out with antisocial behaviour

Gardaí on patrol in Temple Bar. Residents echoed a commonly-held view that gardaí are lacking resources to effectively police the area. Photograph: Frank Miller

Residents of Dublin’s Temple Bar have said they are no longer willing to tolerate the status quo when it comes to crime in the area. A public meeting yesterday focused on issues in the residential area to the west of Temple Bar, skirting the tourist and nightlife hub, and on drug consumption and the threat of violence.

Frustration has increased following the recent removal of shrubs, trees and railings at the Smock Alley Theatre, which it is claimed has brought drug-use into the open, and the death of a man who was attacked in Cow’s Lane last month.

“I haven’t seen any police at all and it’s not rocket science,” said resident Katherine Lynch, who echoed a commonly-held view at the meeting that gardaí are lacking resources to effectively police the wider area.

No police

“I witnessed a man being [killed] in my locality and there was no police; well they came [afterwards] obviously. But that wouldn’t have happened if we were policed more.”


The meeting was attended by community gardaí and local area councillors. Its purpose was to forge an agenda for future discussions with city officials.

Dublin City Council representative Frank Lambe was the focus of much of the residents' anger as he sought to register their grievances and assure them the city parks department was keen to address the issues, particularly following the removal of trees and railings.


Cllr Mannix Flynn said patience was running out with the drug-taking and antisocial behaviour. “What’s happening here in this particular neighbourhood is what’s happening in the wider city centre and with respect to the gardaí they can’t manage the unmanageable.”

One woman among about 50 attendees, who identified herself only as Yvonne, said she had seen the impact of former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani's policies on cleaning up the US city before she moved back to Ireland.

“I don’t know if it’s possible if we could look into [that]. I am so proud to be Irish but on the other hand I am just so embarrassed. I mean yesterday there was people having sex on the [Liffey] boardwalk.”

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times