Fianna Fáil TD and Justice Spokesperson Jim O’Callaghan has said the Government’s plans to tackle organised crime in the North Inner City are just a start.

Speaking on the announcement this evening, Deputy O’Callaghan said, “It has been clear for some time that the North Inner City has experienced serious neglect. The people of the North Inner City were promised a task force would be delivered and that real change in the community would quickly ensue.

“Since it became apparent that there was a very serious escalation in violence and organised crime, four men have been shot dead in the North Inner City. While I very much welcome the establishment of a specific ministerial task force to compile recommendations on how to rejuvenate the area; more urgent interim measures now need to put in place in parallel, to combat ongoing violence.

“I reiterate the importance of a new Armed Regional Support Unit which some months ago we were assured by Government would be in place and operational by June. This unit is required to tackle the challenges faced by Gardaí.

“It is critical that the task force places emphasis on the international element of organised crime in the North Inner City. Fianna Fáil has continually proposed to provide increased powers to the Criminal Assets Bureau so it may work collectively with both INTERPOL and EUROPOL to seize assets belonging to Irish organised criminals abroad.

“A short and long term agenda with fixed targets must be clearly set out in advance to ensure that they are met. Continued engagement with local communities, organisations and residents’ associations in the area is essential. Furthermore, the task force plan requires the support of all political parties in Dáil Eireann to have significant effect.

“To effectively improve the status quo, government need to put real resources behind this task force.The challenge now is to frequently monitor the full implementation of its recommendations and ensure that the priorities detailed are effectively met,” added Deputy O’Callaghan.