Love/Hate actor launches video aimed at combating anti-social behaviour

Laurence Kinlan says mood in north inner city tense in wake of gangland shootings

The mood in north inner city Dublin is tense, in the wake of the recent gangland murders, according to Love/Hate actor Laurence Kinlan.

Speaking at the launch of a video on anti-social behaviour by secondary students at Larkin Community College, Mr Kinlan said local children were not used to seeing the checkpoints and Garda Emergency Response Unit with guns on the streets, and it hadn't been seen in Dublin for a long time.

“But I think local people around here don’t fear for their lives, because it’s obviously targeted groups that go after each other,” he said.

“It’s obviously shining a bad light on Dublin and the whole area again, but it’s never really stopped has it?”


The actor, who played Elmo in the popular TV drama series, grew up close to the college on Cathal Brugha Street, on the north side of the city.

He said the video, which features students from second year at the college, in collaboration with community organisation Localise and pensioners from Lourdes Day Care Centre, was a great initiative and set a good example.

“As a kid, a lot of it is peer pressure; you see other kids up to no good and you think that’s the thing to do and it’s not,” he said. “I grew up around here and was really close to five mates; two of them are dead now, other friends over the years, half of them are locked up, and ultimately that’s decisions they made.”

He said it was easy to think “the world is against you” in a tough area.

“It’s tough, but you have to set an example and ultimately you make that decision for yourself,” he said.

He also said he did not believe Love/Hate, which graphically depicted the life of violent criminals, had glamorised the gangland scene.

"If you look back at Love/Hate, everybody nearly ended up dying," he said. "Every kid around here knows what it's like, they know someone who's died because of drugs or they know someone who's locked up, so they know it's not glamorous."

He praised the work carried out by Localise, the school and its pupils and teachers, and urged people to share the one-minute video, which depicts young people standing up to anti-social behaviour.

Local resident Bridget Byrne, an attendant at Lourdes Day Care Centre, featured in the video along with some of her peers. The 97-year-old praised the young people involved.

“I think it’s a hard oul’ life they are facing,” she said. “I think they’re great children and very respectful.”

Najat Ahmed, one of the young people involved, said she never knew about all of the different communities in the area until she began working on the project. “Anti-social behaviour is actually quite common; we knew it was common, but we didn’t know how common,” she said.

“Doing this project made us realise how much we need to stop and cut back on all these bad things that we do.”

Fiona Gartland

Fiona Gartland

Fiona Gartland is a crime writer and former Irish Times journalist