herald

Saturday 18 November 2017

Four out of five gangland murders are still unsolved

'According to figures released by the Department of Justice, between 2006 and 2015 some 127 homicide offences have been linked to organised crime or dissident groups' (stock photo)
'According to figures released by the Department of Justice, between 2006 and 2015 some 127 homicide offences have been linked to organised crime or dissident groups' (stock photo)

Just one-in-five of the 143 gangland murders committed in the last 10 years have been solved by gardai.

This year alone 16 murders relating to organised crime have been carried out, with up to eight of these linked to the ongoing Hutch/Kinahan feud.

Gardai investigating these killings have made 44 arrests while five people have been charged with murder. A further three people have been charged with related offences.

Dissident

According to figures released by the Department of Justice, between 2006 and 2015 some 127 homicide offences have been linked to organised crime or dissident groups.

However, only 25 of these murders have been detected, showing that just under 20pc of such crimes are solved. In total, 28 people have appeared before the courts in relation to these gangland murders.

Murders linked to the ongoing Hutch/Kinahan feud carried out in 2016 include that of Martin O'Rourke (26), who was shot dead in a case of mistaken identity on April 14. Another feud victim was Eddie Hutch (58) - a brother of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch - who was shot dead at his home in Ballybough, Co Dublin on February 8.

No charges have yet been brought in either of these murders.

The number of murders in 2016 is also five times that of the previous year, when just three fatal gun attacks were linked to organised criminality.

Detection rates for gangland murders are among the lowest of recorded offences, which gardai say is linked to the fear witnesses have of coming forward as well as professional hitmen being used by certain organised crime gangs.

Overhaul

The last 22 months has seen a massive overhaul within An Garda Siochana in their fight against drug gangs and dissident republicans.

In February 2015 the Garda National Drugs Unit and the Organised Crime Unit were merged to form the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB), and in 2016 officers were handpicked for the Special Crime Task Force.

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