Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South-Central Aengus Ó Snodaigh has given a guarded welcome to the Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy’s announcement that Mr Patrick Butler SC is to investigate the role of Dublin City Council in the payment of “protection” monies to individuals.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh TD said:
“I am giving a guarded welcome to Minister Murphy’s announcement that he has appointed Patrick Butler SC to head up the investigation into the allegation that protection money was paid to criminals in Cherry Orchard.
“I do not believe Dublin City Council should be the sole focus of this investigation. I first raised these issues in December 2016 with his predecessor Simon Coveney, the then Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and current Minister Catherine Byrne. I also contacted senior Gardaí, City Council and the voluntary housing body building the houses. It really is a case of better late than ever.
“I firmly believe the remit for Mr Patrick Butler’s investigation should be expanded to also cover their respective Departments. The public have a right to know why Ministers and State agencies ignored the warning signals back in 2016.
“Only as full an investigation as possible will ensure that whatever findings and recommendations produced reflect the full picture of what occurred since a construction company went onto the first of the three sites.
“In light of this, I believe the December 9th report back deadline is to tight. To do full justice to the gravity of the allegations, a more realistic deadline is March next year.
“I am deeply concerned that the issues raised in my letters to all the above parties in December 2016 and January 2017 about interference from criminals in State funded construction sites still exist.
“Communities are still being held to ransom. It is essential that Gardaí are immediately and adequately resourced to tackle this criminality head on.”