Murders at one a week, but total crime rate falls
MURDERS rose by more than a third to 60 in the year to the end of March, with kidnappings also going up.
Overall, homicides - including manslaughter - went from 71 to 87, a 22.5pc jump.
The increase was driven by a 36.4pc increase in murder from 44 to 60 recorded offences, said the Central Statistics Office (CSO), which released the data.
Of the 14 categories of crime it analysed, the only other two to show rises were theft and drug offences.
Some 65 murder and manslaughter crimes were recorded, an increase of 17 on the previous corresponding period.
However, the homicide offence of dangerous driving causing death fell from 23 to 22.
The number of sex offences also declined, going from 2,057 to 1,947, a drop of 5.3pc.
The category showing the largest drop was public order crimes, falling by 14.8pc to 35,311.
The most frequent offence in this group was disorderly conduct, which went from 35,260 to 29,804. It works out as a decline of about 82 offences.
Crimes relating to dangerous or negligent acts - mainly drink driving offences - decreased by 11.6pc to 7,565.
Kidnappings rose by 6.3pc to 119. This was driven by a rise of 106.3pc in abductions of persons under 16 years of age. The number went from 16 to 33.
While burglaries overall fell by 363 to 26,317 (1.4pc), aggravated burglaries rose by 19.5pc.
"We continue to closely monitor emerging crime trends and put in place targeted and co-ordinated measures to tackle them," Interim Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan said.
"Reducing thefts and related offences remains a key focus for us. Measures to lower the number of these offences taken recently include a campaign to educate people on protecting their car from being broken into," she added.
Fianna Fail's justice spokesman Niall Collins said: "The latest figures from the CSO underscore the need for more investment in front-line policing.
"I know there have been many headings under which crime has fallen, and this is very welcome, but the rise in certain violent crimes is a major concern. There were 65 recorded murder and manslaughter offences in the year and aggravated burglaries rose by almost a fifth."
Among the high-profile murders this year was the shooting dead in March of former gangster John Gilligan's 'minder' Stephen 'Dougie' Moran in west Dublin.