Fifteen murders in three months but total is down
THE nationwide murder rate has increased significantly over the past three months, according to the latest figures.
But, overall, the total is down on the corresponding figure for 2012.
There have been 31 murders this year up to the end of August, compared with 37 for the first eight months of last year. This represents a drop of 16pc in the murder rate.
However, a breakdown of this year's statistics reveals that while only 16 were carried out between January and May, another 15 were committed between June and August.
Eight of the murders were categorised as organised crime, with another blamed on dissident republicans – a similar outcome to last year.
A total of nine were committed in the Dublin metropolitan region, while six were in the western region, five each in the south and east, and three each in the north-east and south-east.
Firearms were used in 12 of the murders while six others were attributed to knives and other sharp instruments. The rest were caused by either strangulation or physical attacks and one by drowning.
The total included two deaths which took place in 2011 but were not officially classified as murders until this year.
One of those victims was Gerard Daly, who disappeared from his home outside Bailieborough, Co Cavan, in June of that year. His body has not yet been located.
The other was Bobby Ryan, who also went missing that June. His body was found in May in a disused slurry pit in Fawnagowan, Co Tipperary. His death is currently under active investigation by gardai.
The gun victims include Det Garda Adrian Donohoe, who was shot in an ambush by raiders as he was escorting cash being collected from the Lordship credit union, outside Dundalk, in January.
Nobody has yet been charged with his murder but inquiries are continuing.
Other gun victims included former Real IRA leader Peter Butterly, who was targeted in a pub car park in Gormanston, Co Meath, in April; Deirdre Keenan, murdered by her partner in Carlow; Paul Cullen, gunned down in front of his father in a northside Dublin pub; Bray criminal Philip O'Toole, shot in the head by former associates; Jamie Lindsay, hit by a shotgun blast near his home in Athy, Co Kildare; Lithuanian mobster Gintaras Zelvys, attacked in front of his wife in Rathcoole, Co Dublin; and Alan Desmond, shot in the head by criminals in Tallaght, south Dublin, in May.