Fine Gael Louth TD, Fergus O’Dowd, has signalled progress on the scoping report into criminality in Drogheda as a positive step forward for the town. Minister for Justice Helen McEntee confirmed to Deputy O’Dowd that the report will be completed by the end of the month.
Deputy O’Dowd said: “My priority all along has been to ensure that Government deals decisively with the grave problems currently being experienced in the town of Drogheda. This report must ensure we can properly fund identified solutions to address the underlying social issues that have led to such appalling criminality in our town.
“The report will include short and long-term responses to the challenges faced by communities in Drogheda.
“Minister McEntee appointed Mr Vivian Geiran, former Director of the Probation Services, to engage with relevant residents, services, organisations, businesses and other stakeholders in the community. This is an acknowledgment from Government that the issues facing Drogheda are not just a problem for the Gardaí alone.
“I understand there has been really good engagement from the community in Drogheda with Mr Geiran and I must say that I was very impressed with his approach during my comprehensive engagement with him.
“We had some further news this week with the arrests in relation to the tragic murder of Keane Mulready Woods. I wish to commend the Gardaí for their dedicated work to keep communities in Drogheda safe.
“The people of Drogheda deserve to feel safe in their homes and as they go about their business in the community. This problem is not going away without comprehensive action. Just last night there were reports of another petrol bomb attack, which is extremely worrying.
“I was very pleased to hear confirmation from Minister McEntee that wraparound supports will be important in the approach to this issue as well as a strong focus on supporting activities promoting wellbeing, safety and leadership for children and young people in Drogheda. The goal here is to break the cycle of crime and the impact of that crime on our community.
“When Mr Gieran’s report is finalised, the Department of Justice will carefully consider the actions and recommendations in the report and engage with relevant services and stakeholders in Drogheda in order to take them forward. I look forward to playing my role in that important process”, Deputy O’Dowd concluded.