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Dublin Security Concerns Dominate Local Election Debate..

Dublin: In the local election campaign in Ireland, public safety has emerged as a primary issue of discussion. Residents are increasingly concerned about anti-social behaviour and varying degrees of crime in the capital. Alongside public safety, other critical local issues such as immigration, housing, health, waste management, and transport are also being addressed.

Dublin, the most densely populated area in the country, comprises four local authorities with a total of 183 seats. Candidates running for these local authorities are acutely aware of the community’s concerns.

Security Concerns in Dublin

Public safety has been a significant concern, particularly following an attack on an American tourist last summer and riots in the city centre in November, which have disrupted the city’s peaceful image. In Dublin 15, a recent incident saw the windows of 20 cars in an apartment complex’s underground car park being smashed, with several dash cameras stolen. These crimes predominantly targeted expatriates working in Ireland’s tech sector.

Theft of cars and bikes from apartment complexes is a recurrent problem, largely attributed to youth involvement in these anti-social activities. The recent arson of a playground has further heightened residents’ insecurity, making parents hesitant to let their children play outdoors. Some residents even stay awake at night to ensure the safety of their vehicles and other property.

Social Issues and Public Nuisances

The proliferation of tents and the growing presence of individuals with mental health issues in the city centre are major concerns for residents. Richard Guiney, CEO of Dublin Town, a business group, pointed out that the presence of soup kitchens and a poor mix of young people are causing significant disturbances, deterring people from visiting the city center. Dr. Conlon from the School of Law at Maynooth University noted that while events like the Dublin riots and the attack on an American tourist receive substantial media attention, there are broader underlying issues at play.

Waste Disposal and Infrastructure

Illegal dumping remains a pervasive problem throughout the capital. Additionally, the city’s transport infrastructure and related issues significantly impact the daily lives of residents. There are ongoing discussions about development north of the county airport and the Metrolink, as well as cycleways and traffic management plans in parts of South Dublin.

Upcoming Elections

Elections for the European Union and local councils are scheduled for Friday, June 7. Candidates and residents alike are keenly focused on addressing these pressing issues to improve the quality of life in Ireland.

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