Monday 18 December 2017

Calls for special group to counter gangland terror

Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

A FORMER member of the Official IRA has called on the Government to establish a dedicated agency to deal with gangland violence.

Henry Robinson, who co-founded Families Against Intimidation and Terror -- an organisation set up in 1990 to campaign against paramilitary violence -- said the agency should be led by a judge or specialist prosecutor.

Mr Robinson, who served more than two-and-a-half years in prison aged 18 for kneecapping another man, told the Irish Independent that radical ideas were needed to steer young people away from a life of violence.

"The Criminal Assets Bureau only did half of what was needed to combat drugs and drugs-related violence," said Mr Robinson, who now works with groups in Britain and Ireland to steer young people away from gangs.

He was speaking yesterday at the inaugural international Summit Against Extreme Violence (SAVE) in Dublin which was organised by techology giant Google's new think-tank, Google Ideas, together with the Council for Foreign Relations and the Tribeca Film Festival.

The event was attended by more than 200 people including 80 former gang members and victims of terrorism.

Google's executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt, who was quizzed by delegates and reporters about the company's role in preventing the online publication and circulation of extremist views, said Google was not trying to effect political change.

Mr Schmidt said that Ireland was still "a great place" from which to conduct its business.

Irish Independent

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