Operation Combating City Centre Violence Ends As Funds Not Renewed

Gardaí - Operation Citizen - Temple Bar

A €10m funded plan dubbed ‘Operation Citizen‘ which oversaw greater policing in terms of visibility and deterrence in Dublin has now ended owing to a lack of available funds.

Specialist units, including armed response were deployed in the city centre in the wake of several high profile assaults on tourists last summer.

The money allowed for more than 16,500 hours of police overtime. Additional armed gardaí and specialist units were deployed as part of an overtime payment from the government for additional policing in the wake of serious attacks including an assault which left an American tourist in a coma in July.

57-year-old Stephen Termini from Buffalo, New York, suffered serious injuries after the assault on Talbot Street. Before that Ukrainian actor, 23-year-old Oleksandr Hrekov who was part of the cast in the Abbey Theatre’s Translations, was slashed across the face on Eden Quay.

The funding allowed for an enhanced garda presence at strategic locations such as main thoroughfares and the Liffey Boardwalk. Specialist units were deployed to enhance police visibility

The focus of Operation Citizen was to tackle street-level drug dealing, anti-social behaviour and the seizure of alcohol. There was also “days of high impact visibility” involving checkpoints, execution of warrants, intelligence-led arrests and immigration checks.

However The Irish Times reported on Thursday that the funding has now been exhausted and will not be renewed, adding that the operation ‘quietly ended’ 10 days ago.

One leading organisation in the capital , advocating for all things progressive in the capital Dublin Town is urging the maintenance of the extra garda presence.

CEO, Richard Guiney, said the enhanced Government funding provided for high visibility policing in the city centre, should be maintained.

Not to maintain it would be wrong and short-sighted and would have the capacity to reduce confidence in an area critical to the national economy and Ireland’s international reputation,” Mr Guiney said.

Following the riots of November 23, the situation returned to normal quickly.

An increased number of Gardaí facilitated a lot of good work across many sectors to reduce the potential for crime and public disorder.

Justice Minister McEntee should ensure the number of Gardaí assigned to Dublin City centre remains above pre-November levels, at least.

Reducing Garda numbers now has the potential to reduce confidence in Dublin City centre.

Working with businesses, Dublin Town will continue to do all it can to ensure the city centre is as safe and welcoming as it can be.”