Murder rate for 2015 is the lowest recorded since turn of century
Published 31/12/2015 | 02:30
Murders committed this year are the joint lowest recorded so far this century.
As we reach the end of 2015, the murder rate has dropped to 29, a staggering decrease of almost half on last year's total of 53.
Since the millennium, the lowest total of murders up to now has been 29 in 2004 - while the worst year was in 2007, when 78 murders were carried out.
Just two murders in 2015 have so far been classified by the gardaí as being carried out by crime gangs.
In contrast, there were eight last year attributed to organised crime and a further three carried out either by organised crime gangs or dissident republicans.
Eleven of this year's murders took place in the Dublin region, while six each were committed in the eastern, southern and northern regions.
But there were no murders recorded in the west or south-east.
According to garda statistics, a total of 15 of the 28 murders are classified as having been detected.
One of the most high-profile victims this year was gangland figure Paul Kavanagh (27), a father of two girls, from Drimnagh, Dublin.
Kavanagh was shot with a handgun as he sat in a Volkswagen Passat at Church Avenue, Drumcondra, on the northside of the capital last March.
Two gunmen carried out surveillance of the area before ramming the car and firing several shots.
Gardaí believe Kavanagh was murdered as part of an internal row between members of a Dublin criminal gang.
Nobody has yet been charged in connection with the brutal murder.
The decrease on last year is evident across all categories, with a particularly startling decrease in the number of deaths in which knives or sharp instruments were used - dropping from 21 in 2014 to only nine this year.
Murders involving handguns halved from 10 to five, and those as a result of shotguns being used from three to one.
There was one death during each year in which a machine gun was fired.
Physical violence, including strangulation, accounted for three deaths this year, compared to 12 in 2014.
Blunt instruments - such as a bottle, hurley or club - accounted for two of the deaths, compared to a total of three last year.