Recession left us unprepared for Regency Hotel gangland attack, admit gardaí
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.
“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.
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.”
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.
This year alone has seen the seizure of €11.4m worth of drugs and 133 arrests made by the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.
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.