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Tuesday 21 August 2018

'We have saved 30 lives thanks to increase in resources', say gardai

John O'Driscoll. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins Dublin
John O'Driscoll. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins Dublin

At least 30 lives have been saved from murderous organised crime gangs as a result of new resources available to An Garda Siochana, Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll has claimed

Mr O'Driscoll added, however, that there still remains a "significant threat" to life, despite recent successes.

Danger

"We're now more often involved in intervening and preventing the loss of life than investigating the loss of life," he said.

"I previously spoke of in excess of 20 lives saved, and I can safely say today that figure exceeds 30.

"They're not just ordinary run-of-the-mill interventions and the handing of forms to people and giving them notification of the fact that their life is in danger.

"In many of those circumstances we are discovering people who are so ready to implement the actions that they intend, in terms of murdering, that they have weapons in hand and they are dressed for the occasion in balaclavas.

"That has provided us with a significant challenge, and it's down to the dedication and the professionalism of the members concerned that such interventions have been made."

More than 60 firearms have been found and around 2,800 rounds of ammunition have been seized by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) since it was formed.

This year alone, three assault rifles, two sub-machine guns, six semi-automatic pistols, 10 revolvers and two shotguns have been seized.

More than €100m of controlled substances have also been seized.

"I don't think there has ever been so many incidents where we have actually prevented murder taking place," said Mr O'Driscoll.

"It is undoubtedly causing great frustration to those who are endeavouring to do their business in organised crime.

"Despite the fact that we had a feud, where there was a fear that there would be a much increased number of murders, that hasn't happened."

Reality

DOCB chief Seamus Boland said there needs to be "an acceptance that Irish society is no different to any other society in the western world".

"Unfortunately, organised crime is a reality," he said.

"A lot of the success that we have had is down to the co-operation from the communities and we want to appeal for that support for it to continue."

Mr O'Driscoll also said that the reopening of Kevin Street Garda Station in south inner city Dublin was nearly complete and it should be back in business "very soon".

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