Garda move brings builders back to finish social houses

by Padraig Conlon
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[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Builders returned to work on a site in Clondalkin this week after threats, intimidation and violence had forced them to down tools.

Sisk Construction recommenced work on sixty three rapid build social houses in St Cuthberts Park, Bawnogue after gardai agreed to put additional resources in the area to protect site workers.

Many of the Sisk employees spoke of receiving threats, having their cars vandalised and tools stolen.

There was also a number of attempts to set fire to the houses which are being built for South Dublin County Council.

When construction stopped two weeks ago Mayor of South Dublin Mark Ward compared the daily activity in the park to that of the drama series ‘The Wire’ with “open drug dealing, intimidation, stolen cars, scramblers and wanton vandalism a daily occurrence”.

While he was happy to announce this week that work had restarted, Mayor Ward said he is also very unhappy work had to stop at all.

“I am extremely concerned that workers did not feel safe carrying out their trade in Clondalkin,” he said.

“This is a sad reflection on Clondalkin and it does not represent the vast majority of residents who are very proud of their area and contribute so positively to their communities.”

“The cessation of this development is only a symptom of the problem. Years of underinvestment and also a lack of Garda presence has led to a sense of lawlessness in St Cuthbert’s.

“Residents do not feel safe to use the park or even to let their children out to play for fear of scramblers and other anti-social behaviour.”

In search of a solution to the antisocial problems in the park, Mayor Ward called for a high-level task force meeting to be held involving community representatives, public representatives, senior Gardai and senior Council officials.

“I am pleased to say that things have progressed rapidly since that meeting,” he said.
“The council have carried out major works in St Cuthbert’s Park cutting back overgrown hedges that gave cover to anti-social behaviour.

“The CCTV that I secured funding for in 2016 has finally been installed and linked directly to the Garda station.

“The Garda have agreed to put additional resources in the area and this can be seen already with a noticeable visible presence in the area.

“The building contractor has increased the security on the site”

“The community of Bawnoge/Deansrath that surround St Cuthbert’s Park who have felt abandoned over the years can hopefully start to use St Cuthbert’s Park in confidence that they are safe.

“The park has the potential to be a wonderful amenity for the community and the challenge now for the Council is to develop this amenity for the betterment of all.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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