'I can't think when I last saw a garda in the area'
Residents in Tallaght have expressed fears for their safety at night in the area around the Luas terminus in the wake of a shocking assault on an innocent man.
Most of those approached by the Herald had already heard or read about the vicious assault on Simon Cleary (42) after he got off a Red Line tram at 1am on Saturday.
Mr Cleary was attacked by three youths who punched and kicked him in the head and face to take his wallet and mobile phones.
The area is a hub of activity day and night, being central to The Square shopping centre and its cinema, Tallaght Theatre, Tallaght library and the offices of South Dublin County Council.
"I'm from Tallaght and I can't think when I last saw a garda in the area," said Lyndsey O'Connor (36). "You rarely see them even though the garda station is so close.
"I prefer being with other people when I'm out walking. I heard about the attack on that poor man. The Luas security is quite good but I do think gardai need to be more visible," she added.
Lyndsey's colleague Caroline Malone (48) echoed her views. "We do sometimes socialise here at night but I don't think I'd use the Luas at night on my own," she said.
Aine Kerr (35) from nearby Belgard, said she feels safe during the day around the plaza but at night feels more vulnerable.
"You can feel isolated in the dark evenings. I would be wary and I wouldn't walk around late at night on my own, especially if there is no garda presence."
Student Eddie Bowes (19), from Jobstown, said the Luas platform seems to attract trouble sometimes.
"I don't like it at night. I can't wait until the train comes when I'm around the platform.
"You sometimes see gardai and security around but it could be better," he said.
David Power (51), from Lucan, said he felt as safe in Tallaght as elsewhere in Dublin.
"I've never had any hassle, thank God. I do hear about bicycles being stolen and things, but in general I think I feel safe," he told the Herald.