Fianna Fáil Dublin City Councillor, Paul McAuliffe has called on the Government to initiate a process similar to the Mulvey Report in the North East Inner City in Ballymun in order to address the area’s growing social problems.
The General Election Candidate in Dublin North West held a meeting among local stakeholders and various frontline community groups last week to discuss how to address the issues which have emerged in the area in recent months.
Fianna Fáil Deputy Leader, Dara Calleary TD attended the meeting with the party’s Children’s Spokesperson, Anne Rabbitte TD and Spokesperson on Health, Stephen Donnelly TD.
Commenting following the meeting, McAuliffe said, “Local residents are understandably hesitant to highlight any social problems in the area because they are fearful of drawing any negative media interest.
“Ballymun is a wonderful place to live and there is so much fantastic work happening in our community week in week out, but there has been a definite increase in the activities associated with drug dealing and this has left people feeling both frustrated and unsafe.
“We have to address the root causes of these issues before they escalate any further.
“It’s my belief following my meeting, that replicating the four key areas of the Mulvey Report for the North Inner City, in Ballymun, could have worthwhile potential. Attempting to tackle crime and drugs by maximising education and employment opportunities and integrating social services could help improve the situation at the moment.
“Of course, that would require buy-in from Government to provide an urgent increase in the level of funding allocated to the Local Drugs Taskforce, an increase in the provision of youth and after school services and a greater, more visible Garda presence.
“It would be beneficial also for the Taoiseach to meet with community groups in the area in a bid to get to grips with the situation and take the appropriate action across a number of departments.
“Local residents are rightfully wondering why former Taoiseach, Enda Kenny was able to appropriately respond to similar issues in the North Inner City by providing an increase in resources; but the current Taoiseach has so far ignored the pleas from stakeholders in Ballymun,” he concluded.