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Saturday 1 October 2016

North inner city could be in line for coveted Purple Flag for safety

Henry Street in the north inner city Picture: Steve Humphreys
Henry Street in the north inner city Picture: Steve Humphreys

Dublin's northside could soon be in line for an inter- national Purple Flag, thanks to vast improvements in the area, it has been claimed.

Hopes are high that the coveted accolade for safety, well- being and variety will be awarded next year in recognition of many notable changes for the better.

With the Creative Quarter and Dame District on the southside already flying purple flags, DublinTown chief Richard Guiney believes the northside is now in a position to apply for the distinction.

DublinTown works to improve the capital's business districts.

"In 2013, DublinTown applied for a Purple Flag for the Creat- ive Quarter and Dame District on the southside of the city," said Mr Guiney.

"At that time we did not feel the city's northside was ready to make such an application.

"DublinTown, working with An Garda Siochana, Dublin City Council and Failte Ireland, is confident the application that will be made this year for the northside will be successful."

An initial application has already been made for a Purple Flag, and the working group includes representatives of local businesses.

"We are confident that the purple flag process, when it is in place, will encourage more people to come into the north inner city after 5pm and will bring the perception of safety in line with reality - that the entire city is indeed safe," said Mr Guiney.

A recent survey conducted by DublinTown found that only 24pc of people feel the northside is safe at night compared with 50pc for the south inner city.

During the day, the percentages were 74 and 91 respectively.

Mr Guiney defended the rep-ort, saying the safety of people on the northside is continuously improving at all hours.

"I noted the significant improvement brought about by the diligent work of An Garda Siochana supported by the business community and Dublin City Council," he said.

Stigmas

North inner city councillor Gary Gannon has also insisted that the percentage of people who feel safe in the north inner city was "quite high".

"We're breaking down those stigmas. I think more than 70pc of that survey said they felt safe," he said.

"The controversy is that people have said they feel safer on the southside, but given what's taken place over the past few months that's only to be expected."

The survey come in for criticism from Independent councillor Mannix Flynn for separating both sides of the Liffey.

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