Organising against anti-social elements: the Ballyfermot example
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The following is taken from the éirígí site, here
Throughout October éirígí in Ballyfermot worked with residents to form an effective response to the rise in house break-ins in the local area. Members and supporters of the party have distributed thousands of leaflets calling on the community to be vigilant and outlining a number of simple steps residents can take to help prevent break-ins.
Information stalls have also been held at post offices in Ballyfermot, where éirígí have offered advice to local pensioners and other residents concerned about the rise in break-ins. The escalation of break-ins, as well as the lack of an effective Gardaí response to those break-ins, has created widespread anger across the south-west Dublin suburb. In response to that anger the socialist republican party organised a series of public meetings to give residents a chance to discuss the break-ins and a community-based response to the ongoing threat of burglaries.
Over a hundred residents attended the two meetings that have been organised to date. The first meeting took place in Cherry Orchard on October 17, with the second taking place in the Pigeon Club in Lower Ballyfermot on October 21. Both meetings were addressed by éirígí’s Ballyfermot/ Drimnagh representative, Dublin City Councillor Louise Minihan.
The mood at the meetings was defined by anger and the defiance of a community who refused to be intimidated. Both meetings were very positive with those in attendance determined to get better organised as a community.
Speaking from Ballyfermot, Cllr Louise Minihan said, “There has been a strong reaction from the community in response to the recent wave of burglaries. Residents across Ballyfermot have contacted me with break-in horror stories and to report the lack of any satisfactory response from the Gardaí.
“Local Gardaí have been claiming that there has been no rise in break-ins in Ballyfermot, but it’s a different reality on the ground. It has not been lost on this community that nothing has been done to combat the wave of burglaries in Ballyfermot, but break-ins in Terunure and Foxrock can make national news. It has also not been lost on this community that the Gardaí have more interest harassing local community activists than tackling break-ins.”
Minihan continued, “The recent residents meetings facilitated by éirígí were a great success, bringing relatively large numbers of people together to discuss the issues and to come up with a number of ideas that we as a community can put in place, to help reduce the risk of burglaries. In the short time that residents have started to get organised, there already seems to have been a drop in the number of break-ins. Hopefully that trend will continue over the coming months.”
Minihan concluded, “éirígí is committed to working with the community on this and other issues causing concern. This first round of meetings was such a success that it was agreed to meet again in a number of weeks to provide residents a forum to discuss a community response to other issues that were raised from the floor of the meetings.”
Posted on November 8, 2013, in 21st century republicanism and socialism, Anti-social activity, éirígí, Public events - Ireland, Social conditions, twenty-six counties. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.