27 August 1998 Edition

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Revulsion at Tallaght murder

By Michael Pierse

The son of an anti drugs activist in Tallaght died in hospital last Monday night following a fatal stabbing from anti-social elements in the area. What has added to the disgust of anti drugs activists and many Dubliners is the lack of media attention and the revelation that there had been many unheeded complaints to the South Dublin County Council regarding the murderer and his family.

Ben Smith's only offence was that his father Peter was a well known anti-drugs activist in the Killinarden area. He and his brother were sitting on their garden wall in Cushlawn on Wednesday night when at least two youths, from an anti social gang in the area, approached them and asked them for cigarettes. When the two said they had none, one of the youths slashed Ben's brother David in the face and then stabbed Ben in the eye with a screwdriver.

The 16-year old boy was arrested after the murder. A second teenager contacted the Gardaí voluntarily.

The accused youth and his family had been subject to a number of complaints made to South Dublin County Council, with little result. During a march on the youth's house several weeks ago, in protest at his alleged joyriding, his father rammed a car into the crowd, resulting in several injuries. The Coalition Of Communities Against Drugs (COCAD) has also criticised the Gardaí for allegedly propagating a rumour, while the Smith family were at the bedside of their dying son, that a ``contract'' had been placed on the head of the suspect.

Dublin South West SF spokesperson Seán Crowe has been scathing in his criticism of the local Council whom he said are ``adopting a Pontius Pilate attitude, while vulnerable tenants in West Tallaght are being crucified. South Dublin County Council's management and Councillors should hold their heads in shame''.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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