North inner city Dublin given award for being "safe and secure"

Garda ERU officers police checkpoint following gangland murder in Dublin 1
Garda ERU officers police checkpoint following gangland murder in Dublin 1

DUBLIN’S north inner city has been given an award for being “safe and secure” during the evening and at night.

The Dublin 1 area, which includes O’Connell Street, Bachelor’s Walk, Henry Street and Capel Street, has been recognised with a Purple Flag, which is given by the Association of Town and City Management when an area demonstrates quality in its evening and nighttime offerings.

A main criteria for the award is safety and security, despite Store Street Garda Station – which polices Dublin 1 – recording among the highest numbers of offences in the country.

In 2015, the last year for which complete figures are available, the garda district had 5,998 theft and related offences, as well as 3,268 public order-related crimes.

The Purple Flag is the second such accreditation for Dublin city, with the Creative Quarter and Dame District holding the accolade since 2013.

At that time it was considered that the northside was not ready to seek a Purple Flag.

However, significant progress has been made in the district in recent years and this has now been independently verified.

Richard Guiney, CEO of Dublin Town, said that a “co-operative approach and collegiate spirit” in recent years helped the area improve.

“A Purple Flag is hugely significant for areas that achieve it.

 Not only does it demonstrate excellence in the management of the evening and night-time economy, it adds a level of prestige to an area,” he said.

“Purple Flag districts generally have higher footfall and lower vacancy rates and have a self-sustaining vibrancy.

“When we first applied for Purple Flag for the Creative Quarter, the northside of the city was not ready.

“Since then there has been significant improvements to the area and it’s great to see that development gathering pace to the point where it can achieve a Purple Flag award,” he added.

Chief Superintendent Pat Leahy, of Store Street Garda Station, said the work from gardai on the ground and Operation Spire – an initiative aimed at cleaning up Dublin’s main thoroughfare – have improved the area.

“Store Street gardai are delighted to support the Purple Flag initiative.

 We are very pleased that the area has been recognised as a quality evening destination,” he said.

“This is a testament to gardai on the ground who have enabled initiatives like Operation Spire and the small areas policing initiative to develop over the years.

“We want to re-establish the area as a quality destination and this only enhances the great work being achieved between local businesses and gardai,” he added.