Walls in Tallaght estate used as escape routes for drug dealers and burglars

By Aura McMenamin

Residents in Russell Estate, Tallaght, have been promised funding for security fencing in their estate, after they complained of walls in the estate being used as escape routes for burglars and drug dealers.

Sinn Féin councillor Louise Dunne said she put in the request to South Dublin Council after receiving calls from the chair of the resident’s association and a number of residents with their concerns.

Russell estate fencing 14082017

Cllr Dunne said that the area was ‘scourged’ by anti-social behaviour.

She said: “There are youths and adults climbing over back walls after dealing or robbing cars or houses. They would be from outside Russell Square.”

She added: “Several residents have rung me to complain that they were coming home from work and finding signs that attempts had been made to force open their windows or back doors.”

Although Dunne couldn’t give a quote for the security fencing, she said she met with a contractor and state management officer last month.

Railings in the estate were measured and the project has gone out to tender.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, said she had lived in the estate for 12 years and had noticed crime getting progressively worse.

She said: “People don’t want to leave their homes. Drug dealers will jump over walls in the estate, or deal to addicts through the fencing.

Russell estate vandalism 14082017

“They break into homes at four o’clock in the day. People will come from work to find burglaries.”

The woman said that the perpetrators range in age: “One neighbour saw a man in his 40s try to open every car at six in the morning. Then the man just walked into a neighbour’s hall before getting chased out.

“Sometimes you’ll get teenagers aged 12-17 that climb over walls into gardens at 4am after a night out.”

The Russell Square Residents Association formed earlier this year and hopes to bring the community together to act against crime. They set up a Facebook page, which they said is ‘the only way to stay on top of things’ by allowing people to post incidents in the area in the hope.

The Russell Square woman said: “Even to see that the fencing was going to be put up, people were so happy. People are starting to stand up for themselves.”

However, she said they were disappointed by the lack of engagement from their community garda and claimed several emails attempting to reach out had been ignored.

In response, Garda Inspector Raymond Blake said that if a communication problem existed, it needed to be addressed. However he defended the ‘incredible dedication’ of the newly-appointed community garda in the area.

The woman said a year-and-a-half ago, around five dogs in the area died from suspected poisoning during the same time period. During another incident, she heard her windows being smashed ‘for no apparent reason’ and opened the door to find someone in a balaclava wielding a sledgehammer.

She laughed incredulously, saying: “I honestly don’t know what goes through these people’s heads.”

However, growing serious, she said the level of crime was taking its toll on the community: “The heartbreak caused is unbelievable. It costs so much to repair these things.

“People get isolated. With the violence around, it keeps them confined to their houses.”

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