Reading about the life and death of Keane Mulready-Woods following his childhood recruitment by criminal grooming gangs in Drogheda, County Louth, I was struck by the title of the old Manic Street Preachers’ song, “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next”. Over the last forty years Ireland has gradually accommodated itself to the existence of a violently ambitious and morally degenerate underworld class which has repeatedly challenged the authority of the Republic itself. And with a degree of impunity that has proved astonishing to those of us who remember the draconian reaction of various administrations to the existence of “subversives” during the era of the so-called Troubles in the north-east of the country.
Indeed, there have been moments in recent history when it felt like the denizens of Dáil Éireann were more concerned with vilifying those individuals and groups who were pleading for action against the predatory gangsters in their midst than tackling the problem itself. One only has to think back to the heroin epidemic of the 1980s and the enormous resources directed by the State against those who sought to eject drug dealers from their communities. In hindsight how right were those concerned parents and families, and the predictions they made. And how wrong were the establishment politicians who ignored or dismissed their fears.
I have no doubt that the depravity that characterised the murder of young Keane Mulready-Woods is merely a harbinger of things to come. The narco-gangs, convinced of their own power and influence, convinced of the ineffectiveness and weakness of the guardians of law and democracy, will only grow more daring, more willing to seek notoriety and respect through bloody intimidation. And I see little hope of any of the traditional parties of government, ensconced as they are in their affluent soci-economic bubbles, implementing the sort of progressive policies, from education to policing, housing to justice, that will bring about the demise of the drug-dealing cartels now struggling for ascendancy in working-class and lower-middle class communities across the island.
Everything that you said is true . Something has to be done .and governments for years have neglected the honest people of this country .. it’s got to the stage that governments make honest tax paying people feel like criminal’s when they complain about these thugs
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I was thinking just the same the other day. It’s policing of the easily policed, and “well, what can we do “for the genuinely criminal. What’s the point in having a state if you can’t look after your people.
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I’m old enough to remember the demonstrations in Dun Laoghaire back in 81/2 against one particular gang of drug dealers. And I recall the police dismissing those concerned parents as ‘rent a mob’.
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Communities themselves need to resist the narco gangs
The money involved in drugs leaches into every aspect of society – clubs, pubs, taxis, transport, property development and corrodes society utterly.
The Garda and people must come together to strangle this monster.
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How to deal with a gang/organized crime problem? One solution with a good track record, is anti-racketeering legislation. Getting tougher on racketeering in particular tends to starve gangs of their resources and organizational structure. Also if the current laws of The Irish Republic do no allow somebody to be tried for crimes they ordered another person to do, that would probably be
up for a rethink.
I will warn against “packaging” the crime issue with questions related to poverty, the current housing crisis/homeless problem, and the quality of Ireland schools. Why? For one thing the link between poverty and most types of crime is shaky at best. The only crimes that are clearly linked to poverty are survival crimes-like stealing food out of hunger, faking checks to get food and money at a grocery store, stealing money to pay an overdue rent, stealing clothes for a job interview….that sort of thing. Also some of the kinds of crimes that are more available to the poor among those inclined to cheat the system-Rich people with similar inclination might do things like embezzlement.
My experience is that the impulse to blame all crime on poverty usually ends up stigmatizing the poor rather than helping them. My guess is that Ireland’s homeless and poor are more likely to be victims of these groups than to be involved with them.
Above all if you make it so that education and poverty become “packaged” with getting rid of gangs, any discussion about how to improve the schools or other aspects about how a poor youngster can seek a better likely will become INSTANTLY dominated by how to keep them out of gangs and crimes. Forget about talking about anything else. Jobs. Vocational Training. University. Exams. Prices. Costs of Living. Transit. STEM. Irish language. ANYTHING ELSE is 100% out the window baby!. It’s going to turn into a dialog where the second you bring up anything related to education, homelessness, or poverty than WHAM! The conversation will predictably shift to keeping them out of gangs…You will rarely get a chance to make it about anything else.
I’ve watched this pattern happen and then thankfully reverse in most circles. You don’t want to go down that road.
That’s sounds a lot like meircan idealism. In theory, sure that would work. The anti-racketeering act there hardly ever gets leveraged, mostly because it conflicts with their ever-present profit over people policies. No different here in Ireland, lots of laws that only get used when it suits. We have all that all here as well, criminal forfeiture, criminal association, etc..But when banks and rich people use it as a source of revenue, enforcement lacks…. Just like in America, the regular citizen can’t get out of government knowing everything about their accounts while billions in drug money freely pass through all systems, lived in both places long enough to have to accept that as the status quo. Like you Americans say, money talks….
Quick assumptions here? For one thing the main country I was thinking of where anti-racketeering works well? It was actually a largely Spanish speaking country which most Europeans are very dismissive of. In the US anti-racketeering definitely gets used. However in that case the crime decline was probably 75% or more related to radically reduced early childhood lead exposure.
Creating fear and dysfunction is a useful tool for the establishment. During a time of austerity it justifies increased repressive legislation and actions, an increased ‘security’ response to a deteriorating environment, it encourages a sense of fear and therefore division amongst the population, encourages some to look to the police and repression for answers. It also destroys the social fabric of working class areas and therefore their political solidarity and potential for challenge. This is why drugs were poured into african-american areas in the US after the end of the ’60s, to destroy the political solidarity of those areas. One presumes that the incessant putting forward of rappers with gold chains, weapons and half-naked women was used to destroy the self-image and role models that people from those areas would be attracted to, also in order to destroy the political solidarity and potential challenge of those areas.
The policy is the outcome. You can look at what the political class want by the outcome. It doesn’t matter that you can hardly believe that these apparently plausible people called politicians do not look or sound like they could be bringing about these outcomes through a conscious intentional malevolence; the outcome is the policy. They are malevolent.
Spot on. Nowadays black people killing black people is widespread in the US via gangs etc whilst back in the day these gangs would never existed. These folk have been likely challenging the govt for equality etc etc. Divide and control. It explains why more and more black people are coming out and calling the Democrats party racist I.e they want to keep black communities in turmoil in order to keep them voting.
Balogna. The US has seen a massive decline in crime and gang violence since the 1990’s.
While theories on why are a dime a dozen I believe the vast majority it can be explained by lead in gasoline and paint and their removal.
As for black Republicans? They’ve always been around. Even if that population becomes “in play” again for parties? I’d say it would take a full party realignment and even then the odds would probably be 50:50. It also wouldn’t neccesarily be about an assessment of which party is more racist. Black Americans formulate their views for as wide a variety of reasons as anyone else.
True that. The American system sadly is based largely on exploiting the working class and the poor, and whatever race finds itself at the bottom is discriminated against the most. It’s not really as much a party as a people thing. African Americans need to stop hoping that some party is their salvation and coldly go about putting their power behind whatever regime will suit their interests best. From the looks of it, many are starting to see it that way and realize they are getting screwed, regardless of who is running the show. Similar to the Irish in the occupied counties.
The way you talk of black Americans and political thinking? It doesn’t sound very realistic at all to me. I’ve never in a my life met a black person (or anyone) who thinks about politics in the way you describe. If anything I see a population that-on average- tends to resist simplistic formulas either way.
In order to get a political re-alignment where black Americans become competitive between both parties? That hinges on one thing and one thing alone. Basically the GOP has to stop doing things they perceive as pandering to bigots. There’s a lot of variety in black political thought, but at minimum 75-80% are not going to trust somebody who seems to be pandering to Confederate flag waivers, racists, and other elements most distrust. At this point the GOP has had a reputation for doing exactly that since the late 1970’s. Trump is seen as the worst Confederate Flag panderer since Woodrow Wilson. Basically for the GOP to loose that stigma it would have to have a new platform, a 70% turnover with “new faces”, and something significant to show that GOP has 100% abandoned The Southern Strategy. After that’s done you have the fact black women tend to run a little more suspicious of politicians who pander to misogynists than most other demographics of women.