Friday 9 December 2016

Garda chiefs 'confident' they will catch capital's gangland killers

Published 26/05/2016 | 21:49

CCTV footage captures the moment Gareth Hutch was targeted by two gunmen outside his house
CCTV footage captures the moment Gareth Hutch was targeted by two gunmen outside his house

Garda chiefs in Dublin are "confident" they will catch the killers in the capital's ongoing gangland violence.

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Chief Superintendent Pat Leahy, who is leading the investigation into four recent gang-related murders including the killing of Gareth Hutch, said the force are confident but a layered response is needed.

He said gardai have identified potential targets and assailants, but said if people are intent on killing it will be difficult to prevent it.

Six men has lost their lives in the last four months as part of the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

Gareth Hutch
Gareth Hutch

Father-of-one Gareth Hutch was shot dead at an apartment complex on North Cumberland Street in Dublin's north inner city on Tuesday.

He had expressed concerns about his safety only hours before he was killed. 

Gardaí at the scene of the fatal shooting of Gareth Hutch
Gardaí at the scene of the fatal shooting of Gareth Hutch

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Chief Superintendent Pat Leahy said a layered response to the problem is needed.

He explained that this begins with community policing to provide reassurance to the community, followed by specialist garda units.

"Local gardai have skin in the game," he said as he described how gardai are committed to delivering their duty of care.

Dr Johnny Connolly, a criminologist who is attached with the school of social policy in Trinity College Dublin, reiterated that community policing was urgently needed on the capital's streets.

Speaking to RTE's Drivetime, he said austerity cuts affected frontline services more than any other aspect of An Garda Siochana.

"There are serious resource issues," he said.

"One of the ways garda cutbacks took place, according to the garda inspectorate, was a massive cut to frontline policing," Dr Connolly said.

"There are about 600 gardai off the streets since 2011.

"Why was that the target?

"It's not just that. The inspectorate talks a big deal, and there have been lots of reports about, policing in recent months.

"But there has been very little talk about practical policing.

"The Garda Inspectorate showed reports about community policing."

Dr Johnny Connolly spoke about the drugs trade and said it is very easy for "an entire family to be sucked in" if one person owes money.

"An entire family can be sucked in - anyone earning money, collecting dole payments , will be involved to provide pay off for debts.

"If they simply don't have it, they will hold drugs and be brought into the trade that way," he added.

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