Monday 24 October 2016

Garda Chief Nóirín O'Sullivan to oversee security operation for gang funerals

David Kearns and Cormac McQuinn

Published 12/02/2016 | 13:36

A member of the Garda ERU holds an MP7 File Picture
A member of the Garda ERU holds an MP7 File Picture

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan will oversee the security arrangements for the funerals of two men murdered in Dublin as part of an escalate gang feud, said Taoiseach Enda Kenny

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Gardaí remain on high alert in the wake of the killings which have brought into focus the activities of two of Ireland’s most dangerous gangs.

This scrutiny has led to several journalists at Independent News & Media receiving threats.

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Speaking on Redfm in Cork this morning, Mr Kenny said it was his understanding that Commissioner O'Sullivan would direct the security operation for the funerals of David Byrne and Eddie Hutch Snr.

The Taoiseach said Ms O'Sullivan "wants extra resources she gets them", adding that the Government was currently in the process of restocking the garda force.

Expressing his confidence in the Gardaí, he said the force had dealt with similar threats in the past and would have no issue doing so again. understands that senior officers they planned to have a highly visible presence outside the south inner city church where Mr Byrne's funeral mass will be celebrated on Monday to deter anybody intent on creating further bloodshed.

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Undercover officers will also be deployed to keep watch on surrounding streets.

Officers from the specialist and local units have all been briefed on the identities of all of the key players in the deadly feud.

Mr Byrne was believed to have been shot dead in retaliation for the murder of Gary Hutch in Spain last September.

Three days later, the other faction in the feud struck back by shooting Eddie Hutch Snr at his home in the north inner city.

Read More: Political leaders condemn 'outrageous' threats received by INM journalists from Dublin criminal gangs

Gardaí say the introduction of armed checkpoints and saturation policing since last weekend has already disrupted the activities of members of the two gangs and prevented them from carrying out further acts of violence.

Speaking to today, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: "Those who issue death threats to journalists and anybody else have no place in our society.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said that the government will "stand up to the ruthless gangs who show such scant regard for human life."

The pair were speaking at a Fine Gael event in Cork where they outlined the party's plans for justice.

Mr Kenny said Fine Gael want to recruit 1,800 more Gardai in the coming years and free up officers from desks.

“What the last week has shown us is that we need a government that will prioritise the resourcing of An Garda Síochána," he said.

"Ireland needs a government that will ensure criminals will be prosecuted. That is why we established a second Special Criminal Court," Mr Kenny added.

Ms Fitzgerald said: "We have not, and will not, stand idly by as thugs threaten the public safety of our communities or the sanctity of our homes.

"We will stand up to the ruthless gangs who show such scant regard for human life. We will stand up to those who outrageously threaten Ireland’s journalists."

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