[Sinn Fein]

5 June 1998

Sinn Fein call for end to elderly nightmare

Sinn Fein Councillor Christy Burke has called on the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to intervene in the St Bricin's Park controversy. Last night Patrick Larkin a 74 year-old pensioner died after he was mugged and tied up in his home. Councillor Burke has claimed that this was the fifth break-in in the area over the last few weeks and has called for the re-introduction of local wardens.

Councillor Burke said:

``I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to Mr. Larkin's family and friends. No one, young or old, should have to die in this manner. It speaks volumes for our modern society that crimes against vulnerable elderly people are a daily occurence. Many elderly people in this area will not answer their doors after four-thirty in the afternoon for fear of being robbed.

``This is the fifth break-in in this locality over the last couple of weeks. The reality of Dublin Corporation cut backs is that it is the most vulnerable sections of our society who are being affected.

``Cut backs in warden services, the majority of whom lived in the block complexes,has left many elderly tenants terrified in their homes. Although not part of their job description wardens had daily contact with tenants, checking their doors and windows, and were a reassuring presence particularly at night-time.

``Their `cut back' replacements, mobile patrols every five hours,do nothing to reassure the aged and lack the visibility of local resident warders.

``In the aftermath of last night's incident I am submitting a motion to the next meeting of Dublin Corporation seeking a reversal of cuts in human warden services.

``I am also meeting the Lord Mayor of Dublin John Stafford this afternoon and I will be asking for his support in responding to this grave situation.

``The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, whose constituency includes St. Bricin's Park, needs to intervene and respond to the needs of his constituents. His Government should immediately allocate more funding to cash starved local authorities to ensure that incidents such as last nights, cease to occur in our towns, villages and cities.

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