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Sunday 15 December 2019

McDowell admits he got it wrong on gangland hits

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

FORMER Justice Minister Michael McDowell has said the RTE hit series 'Love/Hate' has made a mockery of his 2004 prediction that gangland killings were coming to an end.

But the former Attorney General says he believed that gardai had "really cracked" gangland culture. And the ex-PD leader described former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern as "a man of mystery".

Mr McDowell, pictured, who returned to the law library following his defeat at the 2007 general election, said he believes there is "a kind of coruscating venom towards the entire political establishment".

But he admitted he still has "the (political) bug" and would run again for the Dail if circumstances required it – and there wasn't someone better than him. In an interview with 'The Parchment', the magazine of the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association, Mr McDowell describes Mr Ahern as "an inscrutable man who never let his guard down in any way".

"He (Ahern) never exhibited any personal vulnerabilities and was never self-deprecating," said Mr McDowell.

Mr McDowell said Ahern is taking the blame for the excesses of social partnership. "He thought you could buy industrial peace by expanding public spending," said Mr McDowell.

Mr McDowell famously declared in 2004 that killings by gangs were "the last sting of a dying wasp".

"I thought the gardai had scored tremendous successes and then in the middle of that there was a rash of violence. But when you look at 'Love/Hate', well, how wrong can you be?"

'The Parchment' interview will be published in full today.

Irish Independent

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