‘Tanaiste’s abandoned Clondalkin’

by Ian Begley

Deputy Eoin O Broin (SF) has accused Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald of “abandoning” the community of Clondalkin.
The accusation, which Fitzgerald wholly denies, came during a debate in the Dail on gun and drug crime, where Deputy O Broin challenged the newly-appointed Tanaiste on her party “slashing” resources for gardai and community-based services.
He said: “Minister Fitzgerald and her colleagues in Government have abandoned the community of Clondalkin. Under her watch, funding for the community and voluntary sector and the drugs task force has been cut by up to 45%, community safety forum funding by 50% and community development programmes by 100%. They have underfunded the gardai, schools, youth and sporting facilities and abandoned large sections of Clondalkin to long term unemployment, poverty and deprivation,” said Deputy O Broin.
In her defence, Tanaiste Fitzgerald said that she “totally refutes” the allegations made by Deputy O’Broin.
“I am disappointed that he feels the need to prioritise any one community over another; we are elected to serve the entirety of Dublin Mid-West and it is my privilege to do so.
“As local TD and Minister, I have been committed to delivering and working for the Clondalkin area. I was the only representative in the previous Dail, and the only representative in the current Dail to have a full-time constituency office in the village, providing a full-time service to those in need of information or support as well as ensuring that local issues feed into my role at national level as a Minister and now Tanaiste.
“Crime in Clondalkin is down in areas such as theft, public order and controlled drug offences. To ensure this downward trend continues in these and other categories, I introduced legislation to provide tougher sentences for repeat burglars and will shortly commence new bail legislation which will protect the public from serial offenders committing crimes while awaiting trial. I have also worked as Minister for Children and latterly Justice to address issues of disadvantage to ensure a lasting impact was made with the limited resources that were available to the previous Government.
“I have also been a consistent supporter of sports clubs throughout our community in their application for sports capital funding. Locally this has generated over a half a million euro in Government funding for clubs as well as sums going to the council for the conversion of the old pool into a hall and fitness equipment in Corkagh Park.
“The evidence of investment and action is all around us in Clondalkin from the marvellous pitch facilities of Round Towers GAA, the blossoming village that is being guided by Tidy Towns, the investments in school facilities, the increasing numbers back in quality employment, an improving Garda force and the building of the Round Tower Interpretive Centre.”

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