Cracks in regeneration in Ballymun as councillor calls on ministers

by Rachel Darcy
Plans for Ballymun Shopping Centre may be scuppered to make way for a MetroLink site

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]A councillor in Ballymun is calling on the Government and its ministers to complete the social and economic regeneration of the locality.

Local residents have remarked that drug use and drug dealing in public have become increasingly rife within the area, with crime also on the up.

Cllr Noeleen Reilly (Ind) wrote to Minister for the National Drug Strategy, Catherine Byrne, in relation to the increase of drug-related activity.

Ministers Charlie Flanagan, Katherine Zappone and Eoghan Murphy have also been contacted, saying that “the issues currently happening in Ballymun encompass a number of departments”.

In the letter, Cllr Reilly wrote: “Over the last two years, crime has been steadily increasing in Ballymun. A lot of young men in particular are getting caught up in criminal behaviour and the community as a whole are suffering.

“Since January/February this year, we have seen an explosion of crack cocaine in the area and with that a lot of related crimes such as open drug dealing.

“[We also see] open drug taking, robberies from person, homes and shops, gun crimes, petrol bomb attacks, and open violence on the street.

Dublin City Council properties being taken over by drug dealers [who are] turning them into crack houses, and some parts of Ballymun are no-go areas for people.”

The introduction of crack cocaine into the area has been a particular point of concern, as well as the potential that children as young as 13 are being used to ferry drugs around Ballymun and surrounding areas.

Cllr Reilly claims that individuals formerly addicted to drugs are “actively being targeted” by potential drug gangs in the locality.

She said: “The vast majority of decent people in Ballymun are angry, terrified and very frustrated. They don’t believe anything is being done from any stakeholder to address these issues.

“Ballymun has come so far in the past two decades. It is a great community that I am proud and happy to live in and represent, but I fear we are slipping back, and I fear we will lose a generation of young people if we do not address the current issues.”

Dublin Gazette contacted Dublin City Council in relation to the matters raised by Cllr Reilly, but the council declined to comment.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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