Armed raids putting businesses in jeopardy and staff at high risk

By Mary Dennehy

ARMED raids on local shops are destroying community-based business, with one Tallaght convenience store, which was hit seven times in six months, providing counselling to traumatised staff.

Over recent months, The Echo has reported on a number of violent hold-ups on shops and local post offices, many of which, residents and business owners believe, are being perpetrated by the same people.

Centra Jobstown resized

Gareth Jordan, of Jordan’s Centra in Kiltalown, Jobstown, has this week spoken out about the impact these raids are having on local business, alongside calling for an increase in Garda presence.

Gareth told The Echo: “I have been targeted seven times in six months and it’s taking its toll on me personally, my staff and my business.

“My staff are scared out of their wits coming to work alongside the girls working in the Post Office, it’s not right that people trying to earn a living are traumatised in this way, and I’m currently providing counselling for them which will be ongoing.

“Every evening I’m waiting for a call or a text that something has happened, I’m constantly worried, and my business is also being affected.

“I’m concerned that customers will start to go somewhere else due to the number of robberies – last month the Post Office was hit on Children’s Allowance Day which resulted in people coming in for money that wasn’t there.

“This impacted on the wider community, as there were families banking on that cash.”

Gareth Jordan Centra resized

Gareth, who is active in the community and supports a number of local initiatives, raised the situation with Tallaght councillors and the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald – whom he spoke with last Sunday.

Worn out by the situation, Gareth said: “We need more Garda resources.

“Gardaí at Tallaght have been in touch with myself and also the station’s Crime Prevention Officer, and I believe local officers are doing what they can with the resources they have.

“However, Tallaght is being ignored when it comes to Garda resources, which doesn’t make sense considering the size of the area.”

“We need extra gardaí patrolling communities and regularly driving in around shopping shopping centres in patrol cars – they need to be visible in communities. 

“These lads robbing shops are only looking for a quick fix, which makes all businesses vulnerable, and if action isn’t taken now a lot more workers will be left terrified, jobs will be put at risk and businesses will close down.”

Independent councillor Dermot Richardson and Sinn Féin councillor Louise Dunne have written to Tallaght Superintendent Peter Duff concerning the pressures faced by Gareth and his staff, and to organise an action meeting.

Cllr Richardson said: “These robberies are having a massive impact on staff, businesses and the community, with the same guys targeting the same businesses all the time.

“Local Gardaí are doing what they can but they need extra resources to combat this growing issue. It’s not right that community shops, jobs and the wellbeing of workers are being put at risk.

Fianna Fáil councillor Charlie O’Connor lodged a Dáil question, through his party colleague Niall Collins TD, in which he asked the Minister for Justice Francis Fitzgerald to make a statement on the “alarming number” of robberies at the Kiltalown store.

Replying this week, the Minister said: “I can assure that An Garda Siochana treat crimes of this nature extremely seriously and that Garda management deploy the necessary crime prevention and investigation resources accordingly.

“I have however, requested a report from the Garda authorities in relation to the specific incidents referred to and I will contact [Deputy Collins] directly when the report is to hand.”

 

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