Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Pa Daly TD, has said government must get to grips with policing in Dublin to ensure that communities can feel safe and protected.
Speaking today in the Dáil, Teachta Daly told the Justice Minister:
“The government is not listening. They did not listen when people repeatedly told them that our streets were not safe – workers, local businesses, families – even countries now warning their citizens visiting Ireland. They didn’t listen to demands for more Gardaí on the streets. Now it’s clear from their weak response that they’re still not listening. Government need to listen to communities and get to grips with this now, so that all communities can feel safe and protected.
“I want to send my solidarity to the families of those attacked on Thursday and we all pray for a speedy recovery for those seriously injured.
“I also commend the speedy response of the ambulance service and the Gardaí who were first at the scenes. They did what they could, as they do every single day for everyone without fear or favour. That both fire services and Gardaí were attacked just a short time afterwards, demonstrates the totally moral vacuum those who carried out the attacks inhabit.
“What unfolded is unprecedented. Cars, buses, Garda vehicles and trams were deliberately set alight. A number of businesses were broken into, and looting occurred with many workers fleeing or seeking shelter. These scenes were deeply disturbing and cannot in any way be justified or tolerated. Questions will have to be asked as to how things escalated so quickly, and why there clearly was not a faster response when they did.
“Fine Gael has held this ministry for over a decade, and Fianna Fáil, through confidence and supply and now coalition, has enabled them for 7 years. The Greens are little better and have shown complete political incoherence.
“This coalition of chaos does not inspire confidence and the Garda numbers situation, for so long something Sinn Féin continually raised, must be brought under urgent control. The Commissioner’s call for members from outside Dublin to undertake overtime in the capital is another band-aid over the problem. A little over 700 Garda trainees are due to attest according to the commissioner, in the next year. This is well short of the 1,000 targeted and more crucially, is well short of what is needed to replace those who have left.
“Sinn Féin will not stand idly by and see the situation continue to degrade and we need action now.”