Mary Lou McDonald: Don’t patronise north inner city

Sinn Féin TD speaks after representatives meet Taoiseach for two hours over issues

Mary Lou McDonald and SF Councillor Janice Boylan. Ms McDonald said: “We don’t want quick fixes because there is none available.” Photograph: Collins

Mary Lou McDonald and SF Councillor Janice Boylan. Ms McDonald said: “We don’t want quick fixes because there is none available.” Photograph: Collins

 

A TD from Dublin’s north inner city, which has been at the centre of the recent Kinahan-Hutch gang feud, has urged the Government not to patronise the area but to provide it with ways to overcome its problems.

Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald was speaking after the Government promised to publish the terms of reference for a taskforce to examine problems in the area before the Dáil’s summer recess.

Ms McDonald said the community was “looking for evidence of a real long-term commitment” to solving its problems. “We don’t want quick fixes because there is none available. We don’t want to be patronised. We don’t want a pat on the head for the north inner city. We want a strategy, resources and interventions that are long-term, deep-rooted and that will make a difference.”

Gangland feud

Taoiseach Enda Kenny on Monday held a two-hour meeting with public representatives from the area. The recent gangland feud has resulted in seven killings with many on the streets in the area.

After the meeting Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe said the Government was determined to respond to the challenges facing the community. “We will be clear by the Dáil recess what it is we need to do in the long run. We will also be clear on what we can do in the short term to make a difference,” Mr Donohoe, a Dublin Central TD said. “One of the themes of the meeting is that this is a long-term response and it is going to take much time to deliver.”

The Minister said more consultation was required with the local community to ensure all views were reflected by the taskforce and said the community would be fully involved.

Immediate action

The Taoiseach, Mr Donohoe, Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and Minister of State at the Department of the Environment Damien English attended the meeting.

TDs and councillors from the inner city expressed the need for immediate action by the Government to address decades of neglect. It is understood they were assured by Mr Kenny that this was not a gimmick and that he was fully committed to the process.

Former lord mayor of Dublin Christy Burke said the terms of reference needed to be swift and its work needed to be complete within two years.

He said: “We want the grip of fear removed. You had young men and women sitting their Leaving Certs and Junior Certs in the Larkin college in the middle of these crime scenes. It is not an ideal situation.”