Sunday 15 December 2019

Garda resources plagued by 'contradictions'

 Former Justice Minister Nora Owen
 Former Justice Minister Nora Owen

Ciara Treacy

Former Justice Minister Nora Owen has said there is a contradiction between comments made by the Garda Commissioner and the Taoiseach about the availability of Garda resources.

The ex-Fine Gael TD said there appeared to have been enough information about that high-level criminals would be at the Regency Hotel last Friday to justify a garda presence. Speaking on's 'The Frontbench' podcast, Ms Owen said: "Maybe it is the resource thing. Noreen O'Sullivan says they have all the resources they want.

"There's a little bit of a contradiction when the Taoiseach comes out [yesterday] saying 'we will give you all the resources you need', having heard the answer that said they have all the resources they need, so there's a bit of contradiction there."

She said she saw parallels between the violence of recent days and the killings of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe and journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996.

"Clearly, it's a sign of the sort of strength that these gangs think they have, that they can walk into a hotel in broad daylight dressed up as gardaí and as a woman, and pick out the people they want to kill," she said.

Also speaking on the podcast, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern questioned whether the perpetrators would have carried out the shooting in the Regency Hotel if the nearby Whitehall garda station - which closed in 2013 - was still open.

"It took the daredevil daylight killing with so many shots, people going in with their AK47 rifles, to wake everybody up," he said. "It is frightful." Former Labour minister Pat Rabbitte said serious crime in Dublin city was driven by "the lucrative obscene profits to be made from the drugs trade".

Irish Independent

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