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Sunday 19 November 2017

Murder rate rockets in Dublin as gardai deal with 19 killings

Pat Leahy oversees the region
Pat Leahy oversees the region

The number of murders in the capital has soared by almost a third.

Nineteen murders have been committed in the Dublin Metropolitan Region this year, compared to 14 during 2016.

This is despite the outbreak of the Hutch/Kinahan feud last year, which led to eight murders in the capital.

But so far this year only one murder - the fatal shooting of Michael Keogh (38) in May - has been linked to the feud.

Arrests

Assistant Garda Commissioner Pat Leahy, who oversees the DMR area, revealed the figures at a meeting of the Council's Joint Policing Committee (JPC) yesterday.

"While I am constrained in discussing particulars of the cases for operational reasons, I wish to assure this committee that all investigations are fully resourced and are making progress," he said.

Gardai investigating the murders this year had made 19 arrests and charged seven people. Officers had carried out 42 searches, with eight firearms being seized and a total of 3,991 investigative tasks carried out.

Fianna Fail councillor Daithi de Roiste, who chairs the JPC, said the rise was "worrying", but added: "The latest operations carried out by gardai show that they are on top of things.

"I have no doubt this figure would be higher if not for their continuing effort against organised crime, which can be seen with the high-profile arrests."

More than 40,000 armed checkpoints had been carried out under Operation Hybrid, set up following the outbreak of the Hutch/Kinahan feud, and the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) was conducting more than 300 investigations into suspected criminals in the capital.

Det Chief Supt Pat Clavin, the bureau head, said it had a number of laws to use when it suspected people were living off the proceeds of crime.

Investigations

There were 305 investigations ongoing, 218 of them full-time with 87 at a preliminary stage.

Eighty-three local Divisional Asset Profilers were assisting, providing intelligence and nominating targets who had been flaunting their ill-gotten gains.

Most investigations were in the DMR West Division, including the Clondalkin, Lucan and Blanchardstown areas.

There were currently 85 full-time probes into criminal gangs and a further 31 preliminary investigations.

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