Wednesday 18 January 2017

Warring gangs 'prepared to turn their guns on gardaí'

Published 22/02/2016 | 02:30

Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch at the funeral of his brother
Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch at the funeral of his brother

The feuding gangs behind two recent murders in Dublin are prepared to turn their guns on the gardaí, according to one of the senior officers spearheading the massive Garda investigation mounted in response.

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Detective Chief Superintendent Michael O'Sullivan described the Regency Hotel attack in which drug dealer David Byrne was shot dead as a "milestone" in criminal history and said it is comparable in magnitude to the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin.

The head of the Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) provides a frank assessment of the gangland crisis in a special one-hour documentary on TV3 tonight.

Presented by INM's Special Correspondent, 'Paul Williams: Gangsters at War' charts the latest developments in the feud between criminal godfathers Christy Kinahan and Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch.

In an exclusive interview, Chief Supt O'Sullivan admits the gangs are more violent than before and pose a heightened threat to gardaí on the streets.

"We have a criminal grouping in broad daylight heavily armed, posing as guards, carrying out a brutal and vicious murder with no regard for members of the public," Chief Supt O'Sullivan said.

When asked whether the gangs posed an increased threat to gardaí on the streets Mr O'Sullivan added: "Yes, it is more dangerous, it is dangerous - but we're trained for it.

"The Emergency Response Unit and the Regional Support Units are very good units and well capable of dealing with any threat." But he said that no expense would be spared to smash the feuding gangs and the massive investigation would continue "as long as it takes".

"I can understand the sense of pubic fear and it's well justified. But we in An Garda Síochána have met challenges like this many times before."

- 'Paul Williams: Gangsters at War' airs tonight at 9pm on TV3

Irish Independent

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