Minister for Justice: ‘I would have feared for gardai lives if they had come from Whitehall’
The Minister for Justice has defended the gardai response time to the Regency Hotel shootings on Friday and said she would have feared for gardai lives if Whitehall garda station was still open.
Speaking on Today with Sean O’Rourke this morning, Frances Fitzgerald was asked about the closure of Whitehall gardai station, which is located only 400 yards from the Regency Hotel.
“The gardai responded within five minutes. One or two unarmed gardai going over to the hotel – one dreads to think what could have happened there. These are ruthless gangs.”
The Minister said that there was no gardai intelligence to suggest that any attack would be taking place on Friday afternoon at the boxing weigh-in.
“Gardaí operate all the time on the basis of intelligence. Obviously nobody there would have expected this kind of event. The Gardaí were there within five minutes. Obviously criminals do not give any advance of their actions.”
Criticism has been levelled at the fact gardai were not monitoring Friday’s boxing match weigh-in before it became the scene of Ireland’s most shocking gangland attack.
“The Garda Commissioner has already said specifically that this is not the case. There was no operational intelligence available for this event.”
The Minister for Justice said that gardai were being afforded every resource to capture those responsibility. The murder at the Regency Hotel in Drumcondra, which saw a killing squad of six men open fire with AK-47s, took place at a weigh-in where it was expected gangster Daniel Kinahan would be in attendance.
“I’ve been speaking to the Gardaí constantly and they have been following a whole number of enquires. Every resource that is needed is being given, in terms of ERU out patrolling the streets. They are liaising internationally and whatever is needed, they have the full support of the Government.”