Sunday 19 November 2017

'Whatever Gardai require to do their job in wake of gangland murders will be given to them' - Taoiseach

Enda Kenny. Photo: PA
Enda Kenny. Photo: PA

Cormac McQuinn Political Correspondent

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has denied that the State is powerless to fight gangland crime in the wake of the two gun murders in the capital.

Meanwhile, he pledged that specialist garda units will be provided with the kinds of weapons they need to counter the gang war that has broken out on the streets.

"We're not powerless at all. It does show you the level of professionalism and resources that criminal gangs have on the basis of illegal activities mostly concerning drugs," Mr Kenny said when it was put to him that the State isn't able to stop the crime wave.

Asked if he feared more bloodshed, Mr Kenny replied: "Gangland Criminals have no respect for life or limb or for law and order . Obviously I don't have any communication with them or know what sort of plans they have but I think there's a situation here of very high alert from the Garda Síochána."

He was also asked about the Garda Representative Association's call for Gardaí to be re-equipped with powerful Uzi guns.

"I saw comments about the kind of arms that might be required by the Gardaí.

"Believe me the Commissioner, together with the personnel will know what kind of arms are required by the Emergency Response Unit and whatever facilities they require to do their job will be given to them," Mr Kenny rplied.

Mr Kenny said he spoke to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald  after her meeting with Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan today.

"The government as you know have given full support to the Gardaí and to the Commissioner in dealing with these latest escalations in gangland crime and they will now be fully resourced - an Emergency Armed Unit in Dublin and together with that and the other facilities that the Commissioner will require to do her job.

"The government will respond very strongly to see that that happens.

"We can not have a situation where gangland crime and criminality in the first instance through use of drugs to destroy the lives and careers of so many young people and when these escalations arise that they terrorise communities and result in potential loss of life of perfectly innocent people."

"One murder is one too many and the Gardaí will now be very very active in Dublin on the streets in attempting to cope with the latest escalation in gangland crime," Mr Kenny added.

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