herald

Monday 26 June 2017

Drug gang criminals 'don't care who they kill' - Archbishop

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said the criminals behind Ireland's drugs trade are sitting in comfortable houses abroad and don't care who they kill.

He was commenting in the wake of the latest gangland murder, which saw Noel 'Duck Egg' Kirwan (62), a friend of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch, gunned down on Thursday.

Kirwan was shot dead in front of his partner in Ronanstown, west Dublin. It is understood his close friendship with gang boss Hutch was one of the reasons he was a target for the rival Kinahan cartel.

Change

Speaking on RTE Radio 1, the archbishop said he witnessed the rise of the Mafia while living in Italy and it took brave people in the community to come forward with information to make a change.

"They decide to kill these people maybe as an example to others. But they're also flooding our streets with drugs," he said.

Dr Martin said when he goes behind the Pro-Cathedral he sees young people injecting themselves - and it is drugs gangs behind that miserable scene.

"This is the way that these poor people are being led into something that's bigger than themselves," he said.

"In the long term it's people with courage who actually bring about the change," he added, when asked about people who might have information but are too scared to come forward.

"There are ways of contacting the gardai indirectly and all this intelligence is absolutely necessary.

"The gardai will deal with these things very discreetly, I know that," he said.

Meanwhile, the grandfather of innocent murder victim Martin O'Rourke's children has said they face an "uphill battle" after their dad's death.

Senseless

Mr O'Rourke (24) was shot dead on Sheriff Street on April 14, in a case of mistaken identity.

Larry Power, Martin's father-in-law, said the victim's four-year-old daughter, Angela, has been particularly affected by her father's senseless murder.

"When she hears his name it's like her body goes into shutdown," he said.

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