Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Dublin Senator Darragh O’Brien has renewed his call for a dedicated 24/7 Garda Public Order Unit for Dublin City Centre following a brutal unprovoked attack on a tourist on O’Connell Street.
The tourist was attacked with a broken bottle while he waited for the Dublin sightseeing tour bus.
Fianna Fáil has published legislation to allow for the creation of the specialised force to deal with anti-social behaviour and drug dealing in the city centre.
Senator O’Brien said, “It is outrageous that an innocent tourist who had only arrived in Ireland two hours earlier is attacked on our main thoroughfare while waiting to board a tour bus. This attack happened in the middle of the day on the country’s main street. Quite frankly, it is a sickening indictment of this Government’s justice policy and of their policy of continuous cuts to garda resources.
“This is not a once off incident. More than 700 tourists reported that they were mugged in Ireland last year, with the vast majority of these crimes taking place in Dublin. Most were targeted in broad daylight during the afternoon while sightseeing, shopping and socialising in town and most victims were women aged between 17 and 25.
“There was great fanfare when Minister Fitzgerald announced a new working group to examine public safety in Dublin City Centre last December, but we haven’t seen any improvements since then. Garda numbers in Dublin City are down significantly, with seven out of eight Dublin City Garda stations having lost Gardaí since 2012. In Pearse Street alone numbers dropped from 310 in 2012 to 283 in January of this year.
“I have been calling on the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to establish a stand-alone Public Order Unit for Dublin City Centre for months now only to be met with silence. We need properly resource the gardaí in Dublin and establish a high visibility garda team active in the city centre who can reassure citizens and tourists alike that Dublin is a place for ordinary law abiding citizens to go about their business. It’s time we started to reclaim our streets from people who have no respect for the rule of law or society overall.”