Wednesday, 15 September 2021
Ceisteanna - Questions
Community Development Projects
As we are tasked today with coming in here and talking about the review of the inner city initiative, it would be remiss of me not to mention that tomorrow, once again, several hundred people from the north inner city will descend on the Dáil in protest. That protest will be in recognition of the 16th anniversary of the death of Terence Wheelock. I cannot separate the inner city initiative from the legacy of poor relationships between the community of the north inner city, which has for decades been disadvantaged by structural inequality and structural violence. The initiative had absolutely no targets or benchmarks. It involved lots of good work because of the nature of the good people involved, but it will not address the legacy of a community which has a mistrustful relationship with the State and its infrastructures because of deeds the community believes were inflicted on it. To my mind, there is no greater example of that than the north inner city community's continued 16-year quest for answers to what it believes to be the outstanding questions surrounding the death of Terence Wheelock. Until that is addressed, every year, like tomorrow, that community will continue to march on the Dáil and on Store Street Garda station and will continue to have a mistrustful relationship with the State, and all these nice initiatives will fall on deaf ears.
Once again, therefore, in advance of Terence's anniversary tomorrow, I ask for an independent review into the circumstances that led to his death in order that his family can stop having to show up at Store Street Garda station and at the Dáil demanding what they believe is justice for their son and their brother. Please, Taoiseach, I know there was a GSOC review. That was ten years ago and questions still remain. Let us simply address this issue now and bring some finality to it.