Cllr Ó Brádaigh said: “On a Wednesday evening just over a week ago I began to hear of reports of power outages across large parts of Clondalkin. Initially I heard of the situation through social media but before long I was receiving personal messages seeking updates and with much concern expressed. “Within a couple of hours, it emerged that the cause of the power outages was a direct result of a car being deliberately set alight on the Clonburris lands located off the Fonthill Road. For anyone living in the area, this would not necessarily be a strange occurrence – however on this occasion the car was set alight against an ESB pole and more worryingly beside the main Dublin to Cork railway line – the potential risk to life was very real.
“This incident is further evidence of the escalating anti-social attacks being inflicted upon our communities and raises lots of questions and concerns surrounding adequate Garda resourcing amid the continuing Covid crisis – the harsh reality is that many recent instances of anti-social behaviour are taking place in during the day and in the heart of our communities. I have raised this matter with South Dublin County Council and requested that the site lands be adequately secured. I also intend to raise the matter at the next Joint Policing Committee meeting later this month.
“In addition to problematic illegal scramblers, acquiring cheap cars for ‘rallying’ has become an issue across the county – often being purchased online for as little as €100, driven on road and uninsured, sometimes used in illegal activity and frequently abandoned across housing estates and underground carparks. Greater collaboration between the council, estate management companies and Gardai to tackle car abandonment in our communities is now required.
“At a time when many services have been affected, we cannot simply tolerate a situation that allows for a small minority to impact the lives of the wider community – neither can we accept an under-resourced Gardai. I would appeal to the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and her Department to work directly with community groups in identifying areas experiencing upsurges in problems, in order to ameliorate the situation where needed and to adequately provide Gardai with greater powers of seizure and equipment to carry out their functions in keeping the community safe.”