Department of Education & Skills, Marlborough Street, Dublin D01 RC96 mary.mitchelloconnor@oir.ie 01-8892199

Forty Foot fracas must be a one-off

Pressing need to monitor DART activity from town.

Fine Gael Deputy, Mary Mitchell O’Connor has today (Friday) said the incident that occurred at the Forty Foot in Sandycove last night, which saw three people being detained by Gardaí and a number of others being hospitalised with stab wounds, must be a one-off. The Dun Laoghaire Deputy said the appropriate steps must now be taken to ensure a repeat of the incident does not occur.

“The summer is finally upon us, bringing people into public areas in droves in a bid to soak up the sunshine. The fact that a fracas such as this broke out at the Forty Foot last night, which saw at least four people being hospitalised, is worrying in the extreme.

“Reports are that the people involved, arrived to Sandycove and that trouble ensued following a dispute between two gangs. Sandycove is a peaceful, family area and the local community is shocked by what has happened.

“Despite the fact that there is always a Garda presence in the area, dealing with situations such as this is fraught with difficulty. Very often gangs travel out along the coast on the DART, and local community garda í have no indication of where they may be headed and in which town they may alight. Even if the guards at Glasthule, for example, are ready for a gang, the trouble-makers may decide, at the last minute, to continue further along the line to an area where Gardaí may not being expecting them.

“I believe the way in which to deal with these gangs is to have the activity on the DART monitored from town all the way out along the coast. Contact could then be made with Gardaí in the local area to warn of the presence of gangs in that area.

“Yesterday’s events were harrowing to say the least. Children in the area were traumatised and parents are now understandably looking for answers as to how this could have happened.

“It is only the beginning of summer. We must ensure that this sort of thing does not happen again and that local communities are safe in the knowledge that they can enjoy the sunshine in a safe and peaceful environment. I have been assured by Garda senior management in Dun Laoghaire that there will be a visible Garda presence at Sandycove and the Forty Foot. Local communities must work with the guards to ensure that their localities do not fall prey to gangs intent on carrying out mindless acts of violence.”