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Tuesday 25 October 2016

Archbishop appeals to 'mothers and grandmothers' of gangs to intervene

David Kearns

Published 09/02/2016 | 12:18

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said the killers threaten public order and democracy
Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said the killers threaten public order and democracy

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has appealed to the "mothers and grandmothers" who are "within the ranks" of two criminal gangs to reason with members and prevent further bloodshed.

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Speaking on both RTE Radio One's Today with Sean O'Rourke and Newstalk's Lunchtime with Jonathan Healy programmes, the archbishop said the mothers and grandmothers are likely to be "strong women" who might be able to reason with people within the criminal gangs to put down the guns and stop the hurt.

The archbishop was reacting to suggestions by Dublin City Councillor and former Lord Mayor Christy Burke that Dr Martin might act as a mediator between both gangs.

The Archbishop of Dublin said that he had no intent to act as a go-between for “mafioso gangsters” saying that: “The only people who will get through at this stage… are the people [from] within their own ranks.

“When they realise the violence is only going to rebound on themselves then some of them will have the good sense to say stop to this particular stage [of violence].”

Read More: 'Reisssuing garda with Uzis is no match for the criminals' weapons but it's a start'

Cllr Burke's comments came after Eddie Hutch Snr was gunned down at his family home on Poplar Row, off the North Strand, last night in retaliation for the Regency Hotel shooting three days earlier.

“He could meet with representatives of both sides and try and assist in stopping the taking of further lives and any further misery,” he said.

David Byrne (34) was shot dead and two others were injured when gunmen stormed the hotel last Friday.

A brother of veteran crime boss Gerry 'The Monk', Hutch was shot dead after four man burst into his home yesterday evening.

The Labour Party has also called on the Dublin Archbishop to act as a mediator between gangs, with TD Joe Costello describing Mr Martin as a “very well-respected man” in Dublin.

"He lives half way between the first and second shooting and I will certainly be calling on Archbishop Martin to come forward as a mediator,” he said.

Deputy Costello described Hutch as a “soft target” and "a family man who goes about his daily business."

Read More: Profile: Gerry Hutch - Underworld respect had spared The Monk’s empire – until now

However, speaking this morning with RTÉ’s Sean O'Rourke, Archbishop Martin said that he would not carry out a “parallel initiative” to Garda efforts to end the violence.

“We’ve to stand by the An Garda Síochána … there are two murder investigates underway, and they have to be carried out.

“I would follow any advice the Gardaí would give,” he added.

Read More: Streets of fear: City on tenterhooks as pictures emerge of Eddie Hutch Snr's bullet ridden home after fatal shooting

Archbishop Martin, who lives near were Hutch was killed, was asked by host Sean O'Rourke about the impact the bloody feud was having on communities.

 “Good honest people live in that community, they’re next door to me where I live… We’ve got to find some way to say to [these] people to just stop this particular outbreak of violence… [because] it damages everyone.”

The Archbishop of Dublin repeated his condemnation of the violence, calling on the public to not view the perpetrators as “stars or heroes”.

“These are criminals, people who are enemies of democracy.

“They are without a mandate... [and] have no care for anything except their own criminal interests."

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