Sunday 28 May 2017

Gangsters like Mafia and people must stop them for sake of their children - archbishop

The scene of a burnt-out car in Cairn Court, Ratoath, linked to the ganglang killing of Noel Duggan. Photo: Kyran O’Brien
The scene of a burnt-out car in Cairn Court, Ratoath, linked to the ganglang killing of Noel Duggan. Photo: Kyran O’Brien
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. Photo: Frank McGrath

Sarah MacDonald

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin compared gangland criminals to the Mafia as he spoke of the "horrific, hate-filled violence and retaliation on our streets".

Referring to the gunning down of Noel Duggan, an escalation of the ongoing feud between two of the country's most notorious crime gangs, he said: "When will these people learn that violence and revenge only lead to further violence and revenge?

"They feel that violence is their strength; yet violence will be their downfall. Will they ever learn?"

Dr Martin was delivering his homily for the Easter Chrism Mass at Dublin's Pro Cathedral, attended by more than 200 priests as well as auxiliary bishops, pastoral workers and parish representatives.

Speaking after Mass, Archbishop Martin said of the latest gangland fatality that "every victim, no matter what their personal history is, is the son of a mother or the daughter of a mother - every victim has a family, they may have kids and this type of violence doesn't help anybody".

Describing the criminal gangs as "highly dangerous people", he hit out at their illicit drug dealing as a "business of death".

The archbishop told the Irish Independent Irish people needed to show some type of mobilisation against this criminal violence "in the interests of their own children".

He said it was the same type of organised crime to that commited by the Mafia - "organised crime with no respect for individuals - only respecting the criminal interests and financial interests of those who perpetrate it".

He added: "We have ways - the Criminal Assets Bureau is one that can work - but in the long term the Mafia in Italy was always defeated by people, the local people having the courage to come forward.

"Is there anybody there that can influence some of these people?" he asked.

"My impression is that there is a small group of very ruthless people who don't listen to anybody and don't respect even the sort of traditional rules of criminality."

Terrorists

Archbishop Martin also expressed concern over "travelling terrorists" such as those responsible for the Brussels attacks.

He said he understood people's anxieties, but criticised Poland's decision to abandon its plan to take in 7,000 refugees in the wake of the attacks in Belgium.

"These people who carried out the activities in Brussels weren't refugees, they were travelling terrorists. The problem is that our systems don't seem to be able to track and block the travelling terrorists."

Describing freedom of movement within Europe as one of the great things to have been achieved by the EU, he said it would be "very sad" if it had to end. "They don't represent any religion or any ethnic group - they just have their terror," he said.

Agreeing that measures have to be taken, he said these were not to stop the flow of migrants, but to stop trafficking by international criminal gangs.

Separately, in Armagh, Archbishop Eamon Martin paid tribute to the priests and pastoral workers in Brussels who would be "holding the hands of the injured, whispering comfort to the bereaved, lifting up the sorrowful."

Irish Independent

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