Sinn Féin Councillor for Drimnagh and Ballyfermot Daithí Doolan told Dublin City Council's Joint Policing Committee yesterday that some communities are "teetering on the edge of lawlessness" due to unemployment, poverty, disadvantage, and marginalisation.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, he described some parts of Dublin as “communities in trauma,” listing Cherry Orchard as one such problem area.
“We’re not talking about individuals in trauma but families and whole communities in trauma from intergenerational issues caused perhaps by drug-related intimidation, addiction, unemployment, mental health, violence, criminality,” he explained.
“If that happens over and over and over again in a concentrated area then the people are living with trauma all the time.
“They are living with violence or the threat of violence all the time and that manifests itself in very clear ways. If you’re living in constant fear all the time, you’re living almost on adrenaline.”
Mr Doolan said that there are “layers and layers” that contribute to community trauma, from lack of access to third level education to crime within these areas.
“It doesn’t have to be a nightly basis,” he said.
“It can be every week or every few weeks. You can have the robbed car syndrome, where there are cars tearing up and down the road.
“The gardaí can’t pursue them. They have a policy of non-pursuing because they feel they make the situation worse.
“The scramblers, the robbed bikes, the drug-related intimidation and some of the chaos that goes along with addiction.”
Mr Doolan said that there’s “no quick fix” to combat the issue but suggested trauma therapy, counselling, and general understanding from members of the community and gardaí as possible solutions to the problem.
“It’s about working with these communities to put in place systems that work for these communities and invest in these communities long-term.
“We need to address the causes of this before a third or fourth generation is sucked into the trauma.”