herald

Tuesday 21 February 2017

'We need radical change', inner city residents tell Enda

Taoiseach Enda Kenny holds Evan O'Brien (6) from Beaver Street at the Annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree on Buckingham Street last night.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny holds Evan O'Brien (6) from Beaver Street at the Annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree on Buckingham Street last night.

Residents of the north inner city have pleaded with Taoiseach Enda Kenny to bring about "radical change" in the area after he took part in a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in memory of those lost to drug addiction.

Locals at last night's Buckingham Street event demanded action, while Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe said a development plan for the area "is underway". "We'll be concluding the work in the next few weeks," he said.

Louise Rafferty (35) has recovered from drug addiction. "I should be one of those stars up on the tree but I thankfully got help and support - I am proof that change is possible," she said.

"The Taoiseach and the Government have committed to change that will bring about radical change to this community. We look forward to seeing the actions."

Action

Councillor Gary Gannon said: "I've no problem with the Taoiseach coming down here. There needs to be real action."

Evan O'Brien (6), who lost his mother to drug addiction, helped the Taoiseach turn on the Christmas lights.

Evan's guardian, Tammy O'Brien (26), said: "My mother lit the tree two years ago for my sister, who died of drugs, so to have it passed on to him is a privilege."

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