Shop workers in Dublin are suffering “horrendous racial abuse”, the business group Dublin Town has said.
In the aftermath of last year’s riots, businesses, civic groups and Gardaí have discussed how to improve the city and have come up with four things they want tackled.
“It’s not just an issue in Dublin,” CEO Richard Guiney told Newstalk Breakfast.
“There is a certain behaviour that has crept in since the pandemic; staff are suffering horrendous racial abuse.
“It’s not shoplifting, it’s basically coming in and taking what they want and being quite abusive to staff if they’re approached.”
Aside from the issue of personal safety, Mr Guiney said there are a number of other problems that members of Dublin Town feel need to be urgently addressed.
“I think we do need regeneration, particularly around Talbot Street, which is a public transport hub and where people don’t feel safe,” he said.
“The final one is waste management and in particular waste collection.
“We have rubbish left on the street, basically to midnight and beyond. When we’re trying to have a nighttime economy, that is not exactly ideal.”
Dublin Town is also calling for greater availability of taxis at nighttime.
In December, Gardaí announced there would be more officers on the beat in Dublin city centre as people went about their Christmas shopping.
It is something Mr Guiney would like to see become a permanent feature.
“I definitely believe that people felt a lot more comfortable in the city in the run up to Christmas with the Garda presence,” he said.
“That has continued, not to the same extent as we had before Christmas but, certainly, there is an improved Garda presence.”
Overall, Mr Guiney remains optimistic about the future of Dublin and feels progress has been made since the riots.
“What we had before Christmas was a very good engagement between Government, local authority, Gardaí and businesses,” he said.
“What we need to do now is keep that momentum up, so that we do create a city where people feel welcome and comfortable.”
Garda investigations into the riots remain ongoing and dozens of people have been arrested.
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