Tuesday 25 October 2016

Calls for increased garda resources to help tackle gang crime in the capital

Josephine Feehily
Josephine Feehily

The acting Minister for Justice has come under pressure to release another round of emergency funding to combat gang violence in the wake of the latest gun murder.

The daylight shooting of an innocent Dublin man yesterday marked the fourth life lost since February to the escalating feud between the Kinahan and Hutch mobs.

Chairperson of the Dublin City joint-policing committee Daithi de Roiste said that more resources and a long-term plan are needed.

“We seem to have a government by press release, and until we start pumping resources in  this lawlessness is going to exist on the streets of our city.

“We have criminal gangs operating above the law and nobody can seem to get it under control. Until we put dedicated resources in to challenge this nothing is going to happen,” he said.

Chairperson of the Policing Authority Josephine Feehily said this week that gardai had been “very successful” in recent months in the fight against gangland crime.

“I think those are areas, when we have a body of data, that we would certainly be asking the commissioner some questions about, but there’s no getting away from the fact that, in the last couple of months, they’ve been very successful and shown their professionalism and their competence,” she said.

However, Mr de Roiste questioned her statements.


“If anybody thinks they are doing such a good job why are there people being shot every other week? It’s an absolute disgrace that this is allowed to happen in our city.

“We need to properly resource the gardai to go after these criminals, strip them of their wealth and end this shooting on our streets,” he said.

“Resources have to be allocated with immediate effect. We need to know what the plan is to smash these gangs. If the gardai need international expertise I’m open to that because the situation is at breaking point,” Mr de Roiste added.

Meanwhile, north-inner-city councillor Gary Gannon said that he is “sick” of seeing knee-jerk initiatives being rolled out after another shooting.

“When it comes to resources, we need to look at why people get involved in crime. The €5m that was given to gardai could have been used for an early years’ initiative in the area that would make a difference in the long term.

“The money is not making a difference in the short term,” he said.

“I’ve grown up in the north inner city constantly watching people welcoming new garda initiatives and nothing ever comes of it.

“We’re just lying to ourselves. People aren’t taking drugs just because someone is selling them beside them,” he added.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice did not respond when asked if extra funding would be made available.

“The Government moved decisively to strengthen the resources available to gardai to deal with serious armed crime through a special ring-fenced additional allocation of €5m, as well as steps to establish a dedicated Armed Support Unit in Dublin,” he said.

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