Murder rate drops despite gang war
THE murder rate for the first five months of the year has dropped by more than 40pc, despite a recent spate of gangland shootings.
Statistics for January to May show there there have been a total of 16 murders so far in 2013.
This compares with 28 in the corresponding period in 2012.
Firearms were used to kill eight of this year's victims while two more were attributed officially to knives and other sharp instruments; others were the result of strangulation and physical attacks and one by drowning.
Four of the murders have been attributed to organised crime gangs while one was blamed on dissidents.
The total of 16 included two deaths that took place previously but were not officially classified as murders until this year.
Those two victims were Gerard Daly, who disappeared from his Co Cavan home in June 2011, but whose body has not yet been located; and Bobby Ryan, who also went missing in 2011 and his body found last month in a disused slurry tank in Co Tipperary.
The gun victims include Det Garda Adrian Donohoe, who was shot in an ambush by raiders in January.
Nobody has yet been charged with his murder.
The yearly murder toll for 2012 was 54, with a breakdown showing that the number officially linked by gardai to organised crime gangs had more than trebled, while those involving the use of firearms also increased, compared to 2011.