Some 939 domestic violence cases reported in South Dublin County

Some 939 domestic violence cases reported in South Dublin County

By Mary Dennehy

A local councillor has described as ‘shocking’ the 939 cases of domestic violence which have this year been reported to stations in Tallaght, Rathfarnham, Ronanstown, Clondalkin, Lucan and Rathcoole – with four out of the six areas showing an increase on last year’s stats.

More than 600 of these cases of domestic violence have been reported to Tallaght Garda Station alone, a staggering figure that is nearly double the number of combined cases reported to the other five stations in South Dublin County.  

Domestic Violence

The figures were revealed at the recent Joint Policing Committee meeting for the South Dublin County Council area, after local Garda chiefs agreed to include  domestic violence figures in their crime stats.

The Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meetings are a forum where senior Garda officers, the local authority and community representatives consult, discuss and make recommendations on matters of policing for the area.

 At each meeting Garda chiefs provide up-to-date crime stats, which cover, for example, instances of burglary, car and bike thefts, robbery from an establishment and assault – with detection rates also included.

After a number of requests from JPC members, gardai are now making available the number of reports categorised under domestic violence.

According to the figures, which do not disclose offences, Tallaght Garda Station received 748 reports of domestic violence in 2016, with 605 reports being received so far this year.

The other five stations in the county have a combined number of 334 to date, and individually have recorded  Rathfarnham (112), Ronanstown (68), Clondalkin (85), Lucan (40) and Rathcoole (29).

Tallaght and Rathfarnham’s figures for 2017 have dropped when compared with last year’s figures, however Ronanstown, Clondalkin, Lucan and Rathcoole all show an increase.

Speaking with The Echo, Rathfarnham councillor and JPC Chair Deirdre O’Donovan stressed that it is important to note that reports range, for example, from a couple having a serious argument, to instances of ongoing, high-level domestic violence experienced by both men and women.

“The figures were shocking to those present at the JPC meeting,” Cllr O’Donovan said.

“However, we welcome that the figures are now being included and that as a community we can see the extent of the issue within the county.

“We need to be aware that domestic violence is a part of society, it happens to our neighbours, our friends, our co-workers . . . it is not far removed from our own lives.

“This is not about normalising the issue, it’s about tackling it and reminding ourselves that this is not solely a Garda issue but a social issue.”

She added: “Based on these figures, we definitely need to put more supports in place and look at local services and what they need, and try to get more investment.”

When asked about the high number of reported instances in Tallaght compared to the rest of the county, Cllr O’Donovan said: “Tallaght has the largest population and it’s important to look at the figures in that respect.

“However, at the same time, the high figures are a huge concern both in Tallaght and county-wide.”