Kenny doubles funding to €10m to root out crime and provide better education in the north inner city
Taoiseach Enda Kenny visited the crime-hit north-east inner city in Dublin last night to confirm a doubling of funds to €10m to begin regenerating the area.
He confirmed the Government was backing the recommendations in a report compiled by Kieran Mulvey to boost the area economically and socially and strengthen the garda fight against drug lords and gang violence.
The old Rutland Street School building will be renovated and developed as a community hub, despite a huge increase in the estimated cost of refurbishing it, he said. The premises in the future will show that this Government "listened to the community", he added.
Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station will be reopened and 30 extra guards will take up duty in the area by the end of this year, the Taoiseach said.
Mr Mulvey was asked by Mr Kenny to compile a report and recommend measures to regenerate the area last June after a series of gangland murders.
Mr Mulvey accompanied the Taoiseach and Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe to the Sheriff Youth Club to outline the Mulvey recommendations that are backed by the Government.
Some €5m in new funds will be ring-fenced for regeneration in addition to almost €5m originally pledged to the project.
The four priorities for action are:
l Tackling crime and drugs.
l Maximising educational/training opportunities and creating local employment opportunities.
l Creating an integrated system of social services.
l Improving the appearance of the streets with new trees, greenery and landscaping and tackling derelict site eyesores.
Mr Mulvey acknowledged the importance of community engagement in delivering on the actions set out in the report.
"This is about how all of the passion, know-how and energy of the community and all existing providers can be best harnessed to deliver services that work," he said.
"And if they don't work, having the confidence and courage to respond flexibly to try new ways to meet the community needs. Everyone needs to change if this is to work.
The Taoiseach said: "Until the people of this community feel safe and confident walking their own streets; feel able to let their children play outside, we will not have achieved what we need to for this community."