Dublin City Centre: Invest in housing and services, not state repression 

By Ruth Coppinger 

Gardaí are being given €10m extra funding and using it to tool up and have armed Gardai throughout Dublin City. 

This follows the highlighting of some horrific attacks on tourists. Rather than invest in the city, both in how it looks and in deeper systemic issues like the housing crisis, drug treatment, engaging young people and ending the deprivation that haunts the inner city in particular and many working-class communities throughout the suburbs — easier for FG and FF to go on a law and order spree in search of some handy votes. 

The Armed Response Unit has already killed one young person during the pandemic: they arrived quickly on the scene after an altercation and — rather than apprehending, disarming, negotiating and arresting — in a very short time, George Nkencho was shot multiple times, including twice in the back as he tried to enter his own home. This killing of a young black man with mental health issues has been referred to the DPP.

Tragedies like this will occur again as police biases about people of colour, working-class people, travellers or minorities influence how they deal with crime. 

In a grossly unequal capitalist society, the police are not used to help ordinary people feel safe; they are used to maintain the status quo, as we saw during water charges, the Debenhams strike and recently guarding ATMs and preventing people from using them.

We don’t need more money for armed Gardai – we need Gardai accountable and answerable to communities and direct investment in Dublin.

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