The awful events on Thursday 23rd November have left the capital and the country in shock. We are all thinking of the children and care worker who were viciously attacked and send our good wishes to those still in hospital.
The public rightly want answers as to what went wrong, and how we can learn from this.
The Labour Party has been clear that we don’t have confidence in the government’s approach to policing in Dublin city and the management of far right activity. We have been raising this for some time, especially in the context of the declining numbers of An Garda Siochána and the rise of the far right.
Our Justice spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has outlined our approach on Morning Ireland here. He has also said: “We have to focus absolutely on the far-right actors who are causing this poison in our society. We have to talk about Garda resources as well. People need to hear from the minister that she understands and is listening to the issues around Garda resources, around garda numbers, about pay and conditions.”
The Labour Party has been clear that there must be accountability for operational, and political leadership failings. Yet, at such a time when public order needs to be restored, and children are still being treated in hospital after the knife attack, the Labour Party has said now was not the time to move straight into a political point scoring debate calling for heads. Such calls only drive the political discussion straight into a personalised debate, and distract from the very serious issues at hand that require a whole of government response.
Our view is that this is not just a failure of the Minister, and the Commissioner but by the government as a whole, with ultimate responsibility lying with the Taoiseach and party leaders in government. We’ve seen similar failing on the handling of immigration, social media regulation, garda morale, and long running recruitment issues.
People want solutions rather than distractions, and the Labour Party will continue to call for more community engagement and more social services in the areas that need them.