Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Mid-West, Mark Ward, has said communities are yet again paying the price of the decision by Government parties not to support his Community Safety and Fireworks motion last year.
The motion was in response to communities being under attack nightly from fireworks, anti-social behaviour, and criminal activity.
Teachta Ward has said that the Government has learned nothing as this activity has reoccurred in areas right across Dublin, including his own constituency of Dublin Mid-West.
Teachta Ward said:
“Here we go again, the annual nightly a nightly bombardment of fireworks in our communities in the lead up to Halloween. I have also been inundated with reports of an increase in anti-social behaviour and criminality from residents in my constituency.
“Last year I tabled a motion that would see measures put in place that would enhance community safety and combat the use of fireworks.
“This was in response to Sinn Féin offices been inundated with calls from people who are experiencing high levels of stress and fear in their homes due to the earlier than normal use of fireworks, increased anti-social behaviour and criminal activity
“I was disappointed but not surprised that the Government parties did not support the Sinn Féin motion. This decision by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party was a kick in the teeth for the communities they say they represent.
“Cuts to community policing over the years have exasperated these problems and have left communities feeling frightened and abandoned.
“Fireworks are a symptom of bigger systematic problems on how our areas are policed. Community Gardaí are not the heavy hand of the law. They are meant to build relationships within our communities and be visible in our areas.
“I have written to the Minister for Justice to ask what additional resources have been deployed this year to combat this annual problem using Operation Tombola, including if the resources can be deployed earlier.
“It baffles me why this Government has learned nothing from last year and previous years problems in the run up to Halloween. We need a proactive response as reactive responses are often too late.
“We are approaching Halloween and unless action is taken now, then we could see an unprecedented rise in anti-social behaviour, at a time when our emergency services are needed elsewhere.”