Thursday, August 07, 2008

Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Emer Costello Calls for Immediate Government Action to address O’Devaney Gardens Housing Crisis

The Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Emer Costello, said that despair and anti-social behaviour should not be allowed to fill the vacuum left by the recent collapse of regeneration projects. Cllr Costello is a member of the O'Devaney Gardens Regeneration Board.

"I am extremely concerned to hear of the trouble in O’Devaney Gardens last night. Residents reported to me that they were petrified during the night as anti-social behaviour escalated.
Since the collapse of the regeneration projects, I have been calling for the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for Housing to give a commitment that the Government will provide a rescue package to build the much needed social housing and community infrastructure.

I am now repeating that call and asking for Govenment to give a commitment to the residents of O’Devaney Gardens that the long-promised social housing and community regeneration will be provided without delay.

Following last night’s incidents residents from O’Devaney were queueing up in Dublin City Council’s offices today seeking alternative accommodation from Dublin City Council. It is tragic that the plans and hope for a new community have been replaced with such feelings of despair despondency.

Even before the collapse of the regeneration development, residents had reported flashpoints in parts of the complex and requested assistance from Dublin City Council and the Gardaí in dealing with the matter before it got out of hand.

While I welcome Dublin City Council’s statement that they will be installing more CCTV cameras in the area to deal with the matter, I am particularly mindful of the fact that Dublin City Council recently responded to a question from me on CCTV by stating that "it is doubtful that CCTV would be of any benefit in improving anti-social behaviour".

I am calling on Dublin City Council and the Gardaí to conduct an audit of the flashpoints in the complex and to work with the residents to identify policing and estate management measures that can be taken to deter and prevent anti-social behaviour.

Action and confidence building measures are needed to be put in place immediately to reassure the residents that there is a bright future for the O’Devaney Gardens community.

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