Monday 23 April 2018

Bishop tells of his horror over gang crime

Diarmuid Martin, centre, at St Aidan’s Cathedral in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, with, from left, Fr Richard Lawless, Archdeacon Chris Long, Fr John Byrne and Dean Leslie Forrest
Diarmuid Martin, centre, at St Aidan’s Cathedral in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, with, from left, Fr Richard Lawless, Archdeacon Chris Long, Fr John Byrne and Dean Leslie Forrest

Sarah MacDonald

THE country's most senior bishop has spoken of his horror at the latest spate of gangland violence and appealed to communities to come together to combat it.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said there was a problem with Irish society's "silence in the face of the horrific violence that mars our streets".

"Is there no way in which communities can come together to do something?" he asked.

Referring to the discovery last weekend of the body of murdered criminal Alan Desmond by children playing on Killinarden Hill in west Dublin, Dr Martin said: "What does this say to our people? That it was children who found the body – that horrifies me."

And in a reference to the drive-by shooting of Karl Wynne during last week outside a shopping centre in Tallaght, Dr Martin said: "The brutality of some of these instances is very frightening."

Karl Wynne sustained severe injuries to his head and upper spine after being shot four times by a motorcycle pillion passenger shortly before 10 last Thursday night.

Mr Wynne (45) had been sitting outside a vegetable store at the shopping centre on St Dominic's Road in Tallaght and there were a number of people around at the time of the shooting.

He remains on a life-support machine as gardai hunt for the two would-be assassins.

Dr Martin paid tribute to the gardai for "doing extraordinarily good work" in response to the capital's violence, which he suggested was mostly "linked with gangland criminality".

But he was critical of the fact that the gardai "are about the only group doing something".

REPRISALS

"There must be some way in which people can be brought to their senses about this. Mothers must see that their children, who are in their 20s, are being murdered," he said at a eucharistic gathering in Enniscorthy over the weekend.

The violence was "a dead end", he said, adding that those responsible "must know that this is getting them nowhere".

Of the culture of reprisals, he said gang members had to realise that "as one person is killed, their own life was then at risk the next day".

Dr Martin said that in the context of Irish society's discussion of pro-life issues, church and society "should be looking at a broad culture of life", which included addressing the violence on our streets.

Commenting on the current abortion debate, he said he believed that the vast majority of those working in healthcare would "do everything they can to ensure that lives are saved".

Irish Independent

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