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Fear city Gardaí have 'abandoned' Dublin city centre, councillors claim after Olympian attacked

North inner city councillor Christy Burke said: “Certain parts of the city go unpoliced, despite being near garda stations.”

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Jack being treated in hospital after the attack.

Jack being treated in hospital after the attack.

Jack being treated in hospital after the attack.

Dublin city centre is becoming a “no-go” area and has been “abandoned” by gardaí, city councillors have claimed.

The comments come after Irish Olympian taekwondo fighter Jack Woolley was brutally assaulted in a random attack on Saturday night.

Mr Woolley was left hurt and bloodied after a gang of up to 12 people set upon him and other members of the public on the Liffey boardwalk.

The 22-year-old’s mother, Annette, said the pictures were so shocking, she had been unable to look at them until yesterday.

“He was upset and couldn’t talk very well,” Ms Woolley told RTÉ, adding that her son had decided not to fight back.

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Taekwondo hero Jack Woolley covered in blood.

Taekwondo hero Jack Woolley covered in blood.

Taekwondo hero Jack Woolley covered in blood.

“It was just the wrong place, wrong time. We honestly believe that.

"We don’t think he knows who it was.”

City councillors say the incident is nothing new and that street violence, anti-social behaviour and drug dealing have spiralled out of control in recent months. They are calling for the Government to step in and for the Department of Justice to ensure more gardaí are patrolling the streets.

North inner city councillor Christy Burke said: “Certain parts of the city go unpoliced, despite being near garda stations.”

He said the former garda station on O’Connell Street should be reopened.

The Independent councillor said he had recently passed the boardwalk where Mr Woolley was attacked, and witnessed different groups of people having rows, showing signs of drug taking and “men and women fighting each other”. “There’s been stabbings, muggings there,” he said.

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“It’s not all about drugs, but that’s a major problem too.”

He said gangs with members as young as 13 were targeting the public.

Cllr Burke claimed areas of the city had been “abandoned” by gardaí, and “open drug dealing” and violence was prevalent in areas around Talbot Street, O’Connell Street and the boardwalk.

“This is allowed to happen in working-class city areas but this would be stamped out rapidly in middle-class areas like Ballsbridge or Mount Merrion,” he said.

Independent councillor Mannix Flynn said he had taken hundreds of calls about street violence in recent months.

“The city is becoming a no-go area,” he said. “And it’s appalling the way the Government and Dublin City Council and Garda management have left the city.”

A Garda spokesperson said: “Senior Garda management is satisfied that an adequate policing service continues to be delivered and that current structures in place meet the requirement to deliver an effective and efficient policing service to the community. This situation is continually reviewed.”

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