Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has described people who get involved in organised crime as "losers".

Mr Flanagan was speaking ahead of a meeting in Coolock Garda Station in Dublin with senior garda officers.

Four men from the area have been shot dead this year as part of an escalation in drug violence.

The minister appealed to young people to "drop the bling" and in relation to criminal gangs, he said that "they're all losers".

Mr Flanagan said the vast majority of people in this part of north Dublin are law abiding citizens, and he said there were fewer than 100 people involved in organised crime in the area.

He was accompanied by Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton and Minister of State Finian McGrath.

All three rejected assertions that the Government had no overall strategy to deal with organised crime.

They insisted the Government was continuing to invest in employment and education in the area, along with the policing response.

While the visit was welcomed by community workers, they said they wanted action rather than a reaction to gang violence.

Tiernan Williams from the Kibarrack outreach project, which works with young men at risk of becoming involved in gangs, said intervention was needed at a younger age and said sufficient resources or finances were not being made available to tackle the problem.

He pointed out that the cost of the project was half the cost of keeping a someone in jail for a year.

Earlier, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said there was a level of unscrupulous violence in Dublin that was being carried out by people who just wanted to secure their own wealth by exploiting young people.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Archbishop Martin said ordinary people were stunned by the current level of violence and we all had to do something about "this sordid underworld".

He called on local community leaders to bring people together to talk about the problems and encourage them to go to the garda.

Dr Martin also said that he lived in Italy for many years where show funerals were common among the mafia. He said such funerals attracted young people and were inappropriate.

He added that "the same drug money" pays for the funeral and the church should not be used for this purpose.

The archbishop said the church would provide religious services for the bereaved, but did not want a "gathering of the comrades of these people to show off".

He said it was hard to make rulings about funerals because the deceased are other peoples' children, grandchildren and siblings.