Counselling service needed for children affected by gangland violence – Byrne

Published on: 25 May 2016

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Education Thomas Byrne has called on the Government to put in place support services for children who have been impacted by the gangland violence in Dublin’s north inner city.

Deputy Byrne made the comments following a visit by Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin to the affected community in the last week.

“There has been an escalating cycle of murder and violent crime in the north inner city of Dublin. The local community are living in fear and tensions are on the increase. School children are particularly vulnerable to psychological trauma as a result of this extreme violence,” said Deputy Byrne.

“My party leader visited the affected community in the last week to see first-hand the damage that this violence is causing. A number of people made the point to him that this current tragic cycle of violence is having an incredible and direct impact on many young people who are attending local schools.

“Many of these children have witnessed the crime scenes associated with these shootings in recent weeks. There are also many relatives and neighbours of victims of murder and violence among local school-goers in what is a relatively small community. There’s no doubt that the violence is having an impact on the mental health of these children. Despite this the local community report that no official offer of counselling and psychological help has been provided by the state.

“I’ve written to the Minister for Education Richard Bruton to ask him to ensure special supports are put in place to help local school children deal with this violence. Support services such as counselling are often provided through the National Educational Psychological Service and the Department of Education where tragedy or death seriously affects a school community. Such supports need to be provided to school-children in Dublin’s north-inner city in the wake of this gangland violence.”

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