Extract from the Herald.ie dated today the 05th January 2011 about the recent documentary series on TV3 called Cocaine Wars. The series started last night, with another three over the next few weeks. 

Another year, another TV3 documentary series about Dublin’s gangland scene. This one is Cocaine Wars, based on journalist Mick McCaffrey’s book of the same name. The opening episode took another wearying trudge through the already well-trodden territory of the Crumlin/Drimnagh feud.

I wonder how many more times TV3 thinks we need to hear the same old stories about the same old violent thugs, featuring the same old clips, rehashed by the same old cast of hackneyed newspaper hacks spouting the same tired old platitudes and banalities?

While there’s no doubt the subject matter is fascinating to all those of us lucky not to have to live within a Glock’s reach of these thugs, this effort has so many flaws.

McCaffrey is too wooden a presenter – he needs to learn from the master Paul Williams, whom he makes look like Al Pacino.

But it’s not just the repetitiveness that grates. I was born and raised in the Liberties and spent the majority of my married life so far living first in Cork Street (just down the road from the beleaguered Dolphin’s Barn) and later Crumlin.

Working on a small local paper in the Eighties, I had a front-row view of the devastation and human tragedy wrought by the heroin epidemic that ripped through these working-class communities.

I saw first hand the real misery that these gangs can inflict on the local communities and sadly Cocaine Wars did not illustrate the true human heartbreak of these so-called turf wars.

McCaffrey’s effort is commendable, but he needed more guidance from his station to move from drab to dramatic.

About the author

Pauline Sargent Pauline Sargent is the founder of Drimnagh is Good a hyperlocal community website bog for the people of Drimnagh. Connect with Pauline on Google + me on Google+

  1. Brian on Wednesday 5, 2011

    Hi, My name is Brian. I was born and reared in Drimnagh from the 1940s to 1970s.

    My memories of those years are, without exception, 100% positive. I still have family there. Some of the friends I made during those times I still have today, 40-50 years later.

    Some of my contemporaries [I am aware of who they are and what they have achieved, but regretfully I can’t claim them as friends!!] are Colm Wilkinson, star of international musical theatre, and Alan Dukes, former leader of Fine Gael, and currently chairman of “poisoned chalice” Anglo Irish Bank.

    Regarding the TV3 programme “Cocaine Wars”; I would appreciate the opportunity to add my contribution to the debate, perhaps from the perspective of an “outsider” who has not lived in Drimnagh for almost 40 years.

    Since the early 1970s, my wife and I have lived, worked, and reared our family in Limerick. This is a vibrant, forward- looking city that belies the negative stereotyping that it has had to endure through the “ratings-driven” sensationalist coverage over the last 20 years. We have developed a large circle of extended family and friends over 40 years.
    We have all witnessed the negative media coverage that has accompanied the drug-fuelled gangland warfare that has made international headlines and TV news commentaries around the world. This coverage has now been linked to the so-called “Drimnagh-Crumlin feud”. Bad news shifts newspapers, good news doesn’t!

    Drimnagh/Crumlin, in my opinion, is now going through a similar process of “stereotyping” by the media. Don’t let them win; use all the resources at your disposal to fight back! Show them that the decent people of Drimnagh/Crumlin have no truck with the criminal scum who drag the name of your community through the mud!

    If your readers would like to comment, my email address is: wordsatwill@gmail.com.

    Thank you,


  2. pauline on Wednesday 5, 2011

    Hi Brian

    Thanks so much for your comment, it is really great to get your feedback & to have an “outside perspective” on how Drimnagh is being portrayed to the nation. I’m in Drimnagh nearly 15 years & like you, have very positive feelings about the area.

    What I find annoying is the use of the “Drimnagh” name when talking about these criminals & their activities. There are approx 12,000 people living in Drimnagh & I’m sure the majority of them resent their area being linked in a such a consistent, negative manner.

    So I agree whole heartedly with your comments & hope the readers of this blog & people living in Drimnagh do as well. And your right the good people of Drimnagh need to defend their name. I think this can be done in a number of ways that would not take a lot of effort. It is no good talking about it at the local shops & saying its terrible. The media & our local political representatives need to know that the Drimnagh people do not want a media/top down led stereotyping of the Drimnagh name.

    There are various ways this could be done & especially with an election coming up.

    1) Ring/Text/e-mail/write to your local representative everytime the Drimnagh name is misused by the media.
    2) Visit your local representative’s clinic & ask them what are they doing to stop the media led stereotyping of the Drimnagh name.
    3) Lodge a complaint with the media company such as TV3 when the Drimnagh name is linked with the criminal activities of a people from Drimnagh.
    4) Join your local residents group, get involved in your local community & highlight the positive stories as much as possible.

    There is lots more we could all be doing. A little effort from everyone can make a huge difference as to how an area is portrayed.

    Thanks again for writing.


  3. Brian on Wednesday 5, 2011

    Hi Pauline,

    Many thanks for your positive response to my comments.
    Another way to promote the positive aspects of Drimnagh would be to open a ” Drimnagh is Good” Facebook page and upload only content that shows Drimnagh and its community at your most positive. You would have full contol over what you publish. There is far too much negative reporting in the mainstream media.

    Best wishes

  4. pauline on Wednesday 5, 2011

    Thanks Brian

    A facebook has been set up. Here’s the link http://www.facebook.com/DrimnaghisGood . We have 270 followers & it’s growing everyday.

    Also the Drimnagh Castle Restoration project facebook page is quite interesting. http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Drimnagh-Castle-Restoration-Project/107593705970315 (I hope those links work) Drimnagh Castle is a fantastic facility & worth a visit. The people working on the restoration project are doing a great job & you can really feel their passion for the place.

    Also just to let you know your comment sparked a really good blog post from a great organisation called Talk About Local in the UK. It’s all about when people want to find something out about an area they turn to Google & that is where local communities have the power to make their area become first on Google for all things good about their community.

    Thanks again for the interest & the conversation :-)


  5. siobhan on Wednesday 5, 2011

    I know it’s only a little thing, but that’s why I called my blog ‘Drimnagh Birdwatch’ – even though I’m mostly in other locations with the birding, I wanted to get Drimnagh in the titlle just so that when people googled Drimnagh something other than drugs might come up.
    One thing I love about Drimnagh is the shops on Errigal Road. If you’re ever in Better Value and you stand near the till for 5 minutes, you will hear that whoever’s behind the counter knows nearly every person’s name and has a chat with most of them. Never seen that in the Mace or Centra either side of Better Value!

  6. [...] I came across the post Drimnagh featured on TV3 documentary for all the wrong reasons by Pauline Sargent on Drimnagh is Good.  The Herald.ie article the post quotes and the comments [...]

  7. guest on Wednesday 5, 2011

    I live in Drimnagh and whenever I tell someone where I live, I always get the feeling they are looking down on me or that I’m supposed to be a thug. It doesn’t annoy me, I actually think it’s funny how ignorant some people are and that the media can make them think a place is bad. I know it’s no paradise but it’s not exactly Iraq.

  8. Pauline Sargent on Wednesday 5, 2011

    Hi Aaron

    I understand and it is exactly the reason why I set this blog up. Your right it does have some problems but the majority of people here are great and having lived here for 20 years I can honestly say I love it.