Swell of anger over gang thugs on the rampage in Fingal

by Sylvia Pownall

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]A public meeting called in the wake of a spike in assaults and muggings earlier this week heard from angry residents who say enough is enough.

The meeting is the first in a series organised by Darragh O’Brien TD (FF) and Cllr Eoghan O’Brien (FF) in response to a spate of serious incidents across Fingal.

Locals in Malahide and Portmarnock were left reeling after gangs of youths travelled by train to terrorise residents of both towns in recent weeks.

Over the course of Halloween week alone 15 people were assaulted and mugged in six separate incidents and one pregnant woman was threatened with violence.

Ahead of Tuesday’s meeting Deputy O’Brien said: “People need to be angry about what’s happening and they need to start lobbying. Other areas are seeing increases in gardai but we’re not.

“We’re down from 832 gardai to 705 across all our stations in north Dublin for a population of over 300,000 people. It’s absolutely nuts.”

He said the last week of October was “a particularly bad week”, adding: “We had a group of nearly 200 youths, and that wasn’t an exaggeration, congregating outside Dunnes in Portmarnock on Halloween night.

“We had incidents all over north Dublin during the course of the summer, in Donabate, in Lusk, and again in Malahide and Portmarnock.”

The TD said he had information pointing to the same group of offenders from north Dublin carrying out most of the attacks, who are known to gardai.

He said gardai were trying to do their job “basically with one hand tied behind their backs because they don’t have the resources they need”.

Malahide station is down to 27 gardai from 44 in 2009, Skerries is down from 12 to eight, Swords has been cut from 87 to 78 and Rush station remains closed.

Meetings will be held in Swords, Lusk and Rush, Balbriggan and Skerries, and Donabate/Portrane over the next couple of months.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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