Community walk for more Gardai to take place after recent attacks on women

Community walk for more Gardai to take place after recent attacks on women

THE three confirmed attacks in the Stocking Lane area has prompted calls for additional Garda resources to be assigned to the division – with an online petition created and a community walk organised for July 13.

The attacks in the Stocking Lane area, a popular route for walkers, has generated concern and tension across surrounding communities – with John Lahart TD debating the issue in the Dáil last Wednesday with the Minister for State at the Department of Justice, David Stanton TD.

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Independent councillor Deirdre O’Donovan has also started an online petition calling for additional Garda resources to be assigned to the DMR South Division – which takes in Tallaght, Rathfarnham, Firhouse, Terenure, Crumlin and Sundrive Road.

Cllr O’Donovan, who is the Chair of the South Dublin Joint Policing Committee, said: “Alongside the petition seeking additional funding for the DMR South Division, I will be seeking information from An Garda Síochana as to how many gardai we have per 100,000 head of population here in the DMR South Division as well as in the Tallaght and Rathfarnham area and how those figures compare nationally and internationally.”

This petition will be promoted during a community walk scheduled for Thursday, July 13, at 7.30pm, which aims to bring the community together.

Hunterswood resident and mam-of-two, Aoife O’ Neill told The Echo: “Stocking Lane connects a lot of communities and is really popular with walkers.

“However, people are not walking now, everyone is afraid and even mothers are not comfortable using local playgrounds, they don’t feel safe.

“Even though only one attack was officially confirmed, word is circulating that there could have been four or five attacks and people are just on edge . . . and wondering why this man has not been caught.”

She added: “We organised the walk to bring the community together.

“This is a very vibrant area and we’re inviting all families living across all local communities to come out and make a statement that we won’t be put off our roads.

“We will stand together against the attacks and demand that something is done.

“The walk will also promote the petition created by Cllr O’Donovan for extra Garda resources and will support our local Garda station, which is under pressure and needs additional resources.

“This is a growing area and local Garda numbers need to reflect that growth now and into the future.”

When contact by The Echo this week, Tallaght and Rathfarnham Superintendent Peter Duff said there are currently five sergeants and 46 gardai based at Rathfarnham Garda Station, with five new gardai starting in July.

He confirmed that extra patrols are currently in the area following the three incidents and encouraged anybody with information to contact Rathfarnham Garda Station on 6666050.

The community event Walk Together, Step Together will gather at the Spar in Woodstown Village on Thursday, July 13, at 7.30pm.