Tuesday 17 September 2019

Recession left us unprepared for Regency Hotel gangland attack, admit gardaí

Members of the Garda Armed Support Unit pictured with some of the weapons which have been seized by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, which were displayed at at Harcourt Square. Picture: Frank McGrath
Members of the Garda Armed Support Unit pictured with some of the weapons which have been seized by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, which were displayed at at Harcourt Square. Picture: Frank McGrath
Some of the weapons which have been seized by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, which were displayed at at Harcourt Square. Picture: Frank McGrath
Asst Commissioner, Special Crime Operations,John O'Driscoll and Dep Chief Supt Pat Clavin [CAB] pictured at the media briefing on organised crime at Harcourt Square. Picture: Frank McGrath
Det Chief Supt Angela Willis from the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, pictured at the media briefing on organised crime, at Harcourt Square. Picture: Frank McGrath
Gangland terror: the Regency Hotel attack during the height of the Kinahan-Hutch feud
The Regency Hotel
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

An Garda Síochána has admitted that it was unprepared for the Regency Hotel gangland attack in 2016.

The Dublin-based hotel was the scene of the infamous shooting of Kinahan cartel associate David Byrne at a boxing weigh-in.

Speaking at a media briefing about the force’s "unrelenting approach" in tackling organised crime, Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll, Special Crime Operations (SCO), said the recession was a factor in why gardai were unprepared to prevent the attack.

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Asst Commissioner, Special Crime Operations,John O'Driscoll and Dep Chief Supt Pat Clavin [CAB] pictured at the media briefing on organised crime at Harcourt Square. Picture: Frank McGrath

“We were presented with a very serious scenario and where it was suggested An Garda Síochána may not have been prepared,” he said.

“Coming out of a recession, there probably was some truth in that. Since that date, we had a consistent and unrelenting approach [to organised crime].

“This involved the gathering of intelligence and targeting of particular organised groups, and maximising the resources of An Garda Síochána,” he said.

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Det Chief Supt Angela Willis from the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, pictured at the media briefing on organised crime, at Harcourt Square. Picture: Frank McGrath

The assistant commissioner added that garda interventions has saved 64 lives since February 2016. 

"The number of murders in this jurisdiction up to the end of June have reduced by 25pc, compared to last year,” he said.

“Sixty-four interventions were made since February 2016, and we prevented very imminent threats to 64 lives.”

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Some of the weapons which have been seized by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, which were displayed at at Harcourt Square. Picture: Frank McGrath

During the briefing at the Special Crime Operations in Harcourt Square, it was revealed that between March 2015 – July 2019, €158m worth of illicit drugs were seized by gardai, involving 651 arrests, the seizure of 101 firearms, 3,300 rounds of ammunition and €9.8m in cash.

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Gangland terror: the Regency Hotel attack during the height of the Kinahan-Hutch feud

This year alone has seen the seizure of €11.4m worth of drugs and 133 arrests made by the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.

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The Regency Hotel

From January to July, €1.5m in cash has also been seized, including 10 firearms and 300 rounds of ammunition.

The Assistant Commissioner was speaking a number of hours after a three-man "hit-for-hire team" received sentences totalling 36.5 years at the Special Criminal Court for planning to kill a member of the Hutch family before they were intercepted by gardai.

READ MORE: Regency Hotel murder trial of Patrick Hutch collapses a year after it began

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