Working Together on Policing


Limited resources and cuts have made local communities across Dublin 4 work closer together in an effort to significantly reduce crime.

“Our job is to create awareness and ask the Guards to work with us,” said Carol Finlay, a Community and Social Development Officer, who works with the Ringsend/Irishtown Local Policing Forum.

The Forum was set up in 2006 in a bid to allow both the community and other organisations, like the Gardaí and local people, to get directly involved in crime issues. The Forum holds meetings every few months to deal with a range of issues from anti-social behaviour to underage drinking.

“The thing is to create the awareness within the community. If you see something happening, you ring the station. People aren’t ringing, so the information being given to the Guards means the statistics are all off,” said Carol.

Crime statistics provided by the Gardaí concerning Ringsend/Irishtown and Sandymount suggest from January to May 2013 there were four robberies, 50 burglaries, 164 drug searches and three assaults causing harm. The most common crime in the area was theft from unattended vehicles – which includes laptops, phones and handbags – and domestic burglaries, such as those from open windows.

Over the past few years, the Forum has worked closely with the South East Area Joint Policing Subcommittee, both in terms of manpower and in general discussions regarding crime. That committee is made up of representatives from Dublin City Council (such as Mannix Flynn and Dermot Lacey), Chief Superintendents Michael O’Sullivan and Brendan Mangan, and local community representatives such as Carol. SEAJPS covers a larger area from Ballsbridge and Donnybrook to Ringsend, Irishtown and the Docklands and gets updated on all crime related issues.

“It takes its work very seriously,” said Cllr Edie Wynne the Chairperson of the sub-committee. “The Gardaí in all of these meetings would give reports on crime statistics and from those reports we’d be able to see if there’s an emphasis somewhere on a crime at a certain time, in a certain area, and we would press them on that and look if it can be prevented.”

Edie emphasises that the sub-committee, the Gardaí and the local forums work together in a bid to raise, and more importantly, solve the crime issues across Dublin 4.

“We have to let people know what is on offer, how they can make contact if they have a problem and show that we want them to become involved,” said Edie. It should be noted, that Ringsend is not the only area that has a policing forum; Pearse Street and Charlemont Street have their own local versions while Donnybrook has a Garda Station, which also covers Ballsbridge.

The work of these groups has created a climate of co-operation, much-needed in times of diminished services and resources. Although there have been efforts to harness a sense of community, Donnybrook Garda Station have recently seen their operating hours cut back. Despite this, the relationship between local policing groups and the Gardaí is still a positive one.

The next meeting of the Ringsend/Irishtown Local Policing Forum is due to take place October 17th. For more information contact Carol Finlay at

By Liam Cahill