Trina O’Connor – Criminologist

Trina O’Connor presents a perspective from Ireland that focusses on Dublin and surrounding areas.

In this 10 minute point of view, Trina talks about the recent events in Dublin and how this has contributed to an increase criminal activity, drug dealing and inner city violence. She refers to events in 2016 and the aftermath, which have resulted in feuds developing between rival criminal gangs, a further escalation in the issues and deaths within the community as drug and turf wars have been fought.

She talks about how vulnerable young people, those that have come from the care system, are carers for others, those that come from environments that feature high drug use or addiction issues, those that have been failed by education systems or experience poverty, are are being caught up in this situation. Trina talks about the challenges this presents for the individuals, the community and how lack of opportunity and other factors add to the attraction of these criminal gangs.

However, Trina who is heavily involved in seeking to create positive change, also goes on to discuss the positive response that is developing to these issues. This refers to the work of community organisations, who with the assistance and support of the Taoiseach, have sought to review the situation and important initiatives such as the Mulvey report, have been produced which focus on a series of positive recommendations about tackling the situation in North East Inner City Dublin.

Two years later this is still a work in progress but it is a major shift from where past governments have sought to intervene, which for decades have left the community to deal with local drugs and criminality issues. Trina talks about the positive response from the Garda and the efforts made to engage with young people and the community in different and positive ways.

Trina believes there remains much to do. Many young people still suffer from low self esteem, poverty is still prevalent, opportunities are not there for all. Trina believes that further focus needs to be applied to building partnerships, creating real and tangible opportunities, earlier intervention and learning that looks at restorative justice. Trina also discusses the issues of homelessness and direct provision.

Trina concludes with a few brief comments around a report from recent weeks. This highlights remaining issues in the approach which critically failed to deliver justice to some victims of crime, and in preventative terms, failed to act on available intelligence that may have enabled effective intervention in advance of crimes being committed.

Trina O’Connor Criminologist, Convenor with NICCC & Emergenetics Associate

Trina is a highly respected criminologist and agent of positive social change. She is dedicated to a joined-up approach through early intervention, and preventative measures which protect young children from the lure of criminality.

Her philosophy is based on a public health model that embraces human rights and community development, that considers the environments that children grow up in, the life experiences they have been exposed to and their future opportunities.

Trina strongly believes in enabling young people to develop new skills through education and support and passionately advocates the need to consider all social aspects.

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