Tuesday 25 October 2016

Detectives' overtime cut as gang tensions run high across city

Finian McGrath
Finian McGrath

Garda overtime sanctioned in the wake of the gangland attack at the Regency Hotel has been stopped despite feud tensions running high.

The Herald has learned that detectives in a north Dublin garda station who are investigating the Regency shooting have been told overtime has been withdrawn and they must now get approval to work additional hours.

Armed patrols were put in place across the city following the shooting in February.

Local TD Finian McGrath said it was "outrageous" that overtime had been cut already.

"We were all given a commitment that funding would be available to prevent further violent crimes and the budget was to be used to prevent serious violent crimes and deaths and here we have more cuts which are putting lives at risk," he said.

"Nobody has been arrested, there are serious criminals running around and a lot of communities are living in fear of intimidation from these gangs."


Gardai should be able to draw down more overtime to tackle gang crime in the city, the Independent deputy added.

"It's too serious not to," he said. "On top of the human cost, every death and serious incident also costs the taxpayers money in relation to investigations and proceedings after a horrific event. The overtime would be money well-spent to save human lives."

A garda spokeswoman said she could not discuss overtime and extra armed patrols as they are "operational matters".

Meanwhile, Daithi De Roiste, the head of the Dublin city Joint Policing Committee, said Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald needs to ensure there is adequate funding in place, and not only when the media spotlight is on gang crime.

"Nobody likes to see the Emergency Response Unit on the street, but it is a welcome sign when law and order are breaking down across the city and you have gangs running riot," he said.

A garda source said they were predicting a rise in attacks.

"The gangs are not stupid. They'll see the patrols are gone now that the overtime has dried up," the source said.

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