· Minister meets with Garda Commissioner and senior officers to discuss recent high-profile murders in Dublin City
· “This violent feud is unprecedented in its audacity. The gangs show no regard for public safety.” – Fitzgerald
· Initial €5 million in additional resources to support An Garda Síochána to tackle criminal gangs
9 February 2016
Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Justice & Equality, has today announced a package of additional measures to tackle gangland crime.
Additional resources will be ring-fenced to allow Gardai to sustain and intensify saturation policing in Dublin City, including multiple rolling checkpoints and patrols.
A dedicated new Armed Support Unit for Dublin will also be established, comprising 55 Gardai. This new Unit will operate in addition to the ERU. The new unit will build on interim armed response measures currently being rolled-out by the ERU and other units.
This package of measures will be supported by an initial allocation of an additional dedicated €5 million.
The Minister this morning met with the Garda Commissioner and senior officers to discuss the Garda response to two recent high-profile murders in Dublin City.
At today’s meeting the Minister was briefed by the Commissioner on An Garda Siochána’s assessment of the current situation and their comprehensive and resource-intensive operational response, involving an investigative strand, a preventative strand and a targeted intelligence strand. The Minister was assured that An Garda Siochána are deploying all capabilities and resources at their disposal in terms of tackling organised crime and delivering a whole-of-organisation operational response.
The Minister stated: “This violent feud is unprecedented in its audacity. The gangs show no regard for public safety. The events we have seen are outrageous. They are unacceptable.”
“An Garda Siochána has the fullest support of the Government and I. Any and all resources will be provided.
“We will sustain and intensify saturation policing in Dublin City, including multiple rolling checkpoints and patrols.”
“We will establish a dedicated new Armed Support Unit for Dublin, in addition to the ERU.”
The Minister condemned last night’s murder. She stated: “I deplore the evil and sinister cycle of gangland violence that has erupted in our Capital. But we will not let this cycle of violence distract us from what we must do and have been doing in seeking to disrupt gangland crime.”
The Minister noted that An Garda Siochána have had many successes when it comes to gangland crime. The Minister stated: “Gangland murders have fallen from 17 in 2010 to 3 last year. Murder overall is down 47%.”
“I wish to acknowledge the dedicated, pain-staking and effective work of An Garda Síochána in tackling serious crime.”
Commenting on recent events, the Minister stated: “We are dealing with ruthless criminal gangs who are hell bent on violence and revenge. The nature of the challenge is not to be underestimated. We will not let these gangs reverse the tide when it comes to gangland crime.
“We will support An Garda Siochána to end this feud; just like we supported An Garda Siochána to tackle burglaries by way of Operation Thor. We made resources available for Operation Thor. We will make the resources available to tackle these gangs.”
Minister Fitzgerald added: “An Garda Siochána has a long and distinguished record in fighting drugs and organised crime. Commissioner O’Sullivan has identified what is needed to respond to emerging threats and disrupt gangland crime.”
The Minister concluded: “This Government has reopened the Garda College. We have ended the moratorium on Garda recruitment. We have increased investment in Garda vehicles. We have appointed judges to establish a second Special Criminal Court which will be up and running on 4th April. We will not be deflected in setting up this court or maintaining the existing Special Criminal Court. We will vigorously oppose all efforts to abolish the Special Criminal Court and to repeal the Offences Against the State Act.”