127. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason a number of Deputies (details supplied) were not invited to a meeting on the issue of policing which took place in Coolock Garda station on 4 June 2019; the criteria used for extending invitations to other public representatives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24400/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I can advise the Deputy that I was invited by Ministers Bruton, McGrath and Senator Noone to meet with community groups in the Dublin 13 and 17 areas, under the umbrella of the Northside Partnership. The meeting was not organised by me or officials in my Department, but was arranged for the same day as my planned visit to Coolock Garda Station.
The meeting involved representatives of various community initiatives in the Coolock, Darndale and Clongriffin areas, local school principals, Gardaí and local residents. I had the benefit of hearing the concerns and suggestions put forward by locals, covering issues such as education, employment and sport, and an undertaking was given that the Government will give them further consideration. I also took the opportunity to outline the whole of government approach which is being taken to policing and community safety under the implementation plan of the Commission of the Future of Policing in Ireland report overseen by the Department of An Taoiseach.
We also met with senior members from An Garda Síochána and my Department officials at Coolock Garda Station. At the meeting, Gardaí briefed me on progress made in the various investigations and also set out actions they had already taken to enhance relationships with the community in the area. I am advised that a high level meeting also took place between the senior Garda managers responsible for community safety, intelligence and drugs and organised crime in order to manage the co-ordinated response to the recent killings, and I understand this group will continue to meet.
Those who accompanied me to the meeting with local Gardaí contacted me directly and requested to accompany me. It is open to any elected member to engage with local Gardaí at any time on issues of concern and, I would emphasise my strong support for engagement with inter alia local Joint Policing Committees.