Residents in Blanchardstown have voiced their anger over a Virgin Media documentary which likens their community to the “Wild West”.
The fly-on-the-wall series, The Guards: Inside the K, was at the centre of a storm long before the first episode aired on Wednesday night.
In the hard-hitting show, serving officers describe the K District – which includes Blanchardstown, Finglas and Cabra – as “half mad”, with one remarking: “You should get a medal, ‘I survived the K’.”
But newly elected Sinn Fein TD Paul Donnelly fumed: “I’ve had communications from residents who are angry with An Garda Siochana being involved in a programme like this, and the offensive manner in which they describe our community.
“I’ve spent the last six weeks walking and canvassing throughout Dublin West, and I have lived here for the past 25 years, and I do not recognise the place that they are talking about.”
The ground-breaking series has sparked controversy, but gardai stress that they recognise that the vast majority of Dublin 15 residents are law-abiding citizens.
Footage includes the aftermath of the botched hit on Noel Boylan after he was shot in the stomach outside a Lidl supermarket on the Blakestown Road on June 1, 2019.
It shows frontline gardai dealing with drugs gangs involved in the Corduff feud.
Cllr Tania Doyle (Ind) has also criticised the programme, stating: “It’s clear drama sells. I didn’t see the original airing of this trailer, but I have since received a lot of representations on it and seen it.
“The trailer says it all for me, though, I don’t need any more, if that’s the attitude that prevails from senior officers: ‘a medal for surviving the K’?
“Another [Garda] member describes our community as ‘Beirut’. I’ve been to Beirut – have they?
“Another member interviewed said they ‘wouldn’t tell their mother’ that they were stationed in our community.
“I am hurt, I am angered, and I am disappointed and concerned.”
Deputy Donnelly said he hoped a broader and more positive view of the area would emerge in coming weeks, adding:
“Of course there are problems with some areas, and there are serious issues in relation to crime, drugs, anti-social behaviour and burglaries.
“Garda management would be better served dealing with those issues at a senior level and demanding more resources than participating in a programme that looks set to stigmatise this whole community, when only a tiny proportion of that community are involved in criminality.”