North Inner City Taskforce

Following gun murders earlier this year on the streets of Dublin Central the Taoiseach and Government’s attention was attracted to the north inner city.  Gangland crime did not appear overnight and the problems will not be solved overnight.  A sustained and sustainable long-term approach is needed to solve the problems.

The Government appointed Kieran Mulvey to produce a report and recommendations for the north east inner city in Dublin.   I was delighted to be nominated by Michéal Martin to represent Fianna Fáil and to join the North Inner City Community Coalition.   I made a detailed submission to Kieran Mulvey on housing, policing, education, culture, sport and health.  Click HERE to read full submission.

The north east inner city is in the heart of our capital city it should be treated as the “jewel in the crown” and not the ghetto it is far too often portrayed as.

Significant commitment to improvements of the built environment, public spaces, housing, education, health, employment and policing of the area are required.

A statutory authority is required to work with the local community to champion, coordinate and deliver a long term sustainable transformation of the north east inner city to a vibrant, successful and advantaged community.

All the funding will not be readily available so a structure should be established to ensure that the required funding is provided over the long term and on a sustained basis.

The Government’s exclusion of the north east inner city from the docklands Strategic Development Zone was a mistake.  They should review the boundary of the SDZ with a view to reversing that error.

Dereliction in the area should not be tolerated.  The Departments of the Environment and Finance should incentivise regeneration and redevelopment in the area and penalise dereliction.   The disparity between the streetscape of the IFSC and the surrounding streets outside of the SDZ must be acknowledged and corrected.

It is impossible for any person to function to their full potential at school, work or socially if they do not have a place to call home.  Everyone needs a home and the Government should make addressing the chronic housing situation in the north east inner city a top priority for the area.

Dublin City Council and the Department of the Environment should be required to produce a housing plan for the area to be approved by the Dáil on an annual basis.

As the largest residential landlord in the area Dublin City Council should produce an estate management plan that spells out in plain English its areas of responsibility, issues to be resolved and actions to be completed.

An Education Officer should be assigned to work with community and state educators to co-ordinate, support and report on education participation from pre-school through to third level in the area.  Educational achievement should be measured, reported and celebrated annually in the area.

Gardai detect and prosecute crime to the best of their ability with the available resources.  The Garda force in Dublin Central has been reduced in recent years and this must be reversed.  The Gardai must be given increased and sufficient resources to tackle crime and reclaim the streets in Dublin Central.  The Government announcement that Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station is to re-open is welcome but unless the Government gives adequate funding to bring it up to operational standards it is an empty promise.  Dedicated community Gardai not heavily armed Garda units should not be the norm in Dublin Central.

Health services should be based on patient needs not organisations generic service objectives.  Addiction should be treated as a medical illness and the wholly inadequate available resources for residential recovery must be corrected.

There is a strong tradition of sport and culture in the north inner city and a vibrant creative community which should be supported and encouraged.    A permanent home and community cultural hub should be created to house the North Inner City Folklore and Docklands projects.

The unique natural resources of the Liffey, Royal Canal, Parnell Square, Mountjoy Square, O’Connell Street and other public spaces should be developed for year round maximum public usage.  Proper functioning safe public spaces are essential for healthy and peaceful inner city living.