Sunday 19 November 2017

No Kinahan mole in gardaí - and gangs will not win - Frances Fitzgerald

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald Photo: Arthur Carron
Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald Photo: Arthur Carron

Niall O'Connor and Kevin Doyle

Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has said she has received no "evidence" to suggest that members of the Kinahan faction have informers within An Garda Síochána.

Ms Fitzgerald said that she would want to know if such a link did exist - but insisted that she did not believe it to be the case.

Detectives are understood to have examined whether criminals involved in the Kinahan-Hutch feud have gained information from a former officer. But Ms Fitzgerald insisted that such a link had not been communicated to her by Garda management.

"I don't believe that to be the case. It can be reported, I don't believe it to be the case," the Dublin Mid-West TD said.

"If there was any issue in relation to that, I would want to know about it. I have no evidence coming to me from the Garda Commissioner or anyone else that stands up to that suggestion."

Ms Fitzgerald made the remarks ahead of the anniversary of the Regency Hotel shooting.

As part of the crackdown on organised crime, Ms Fitzgerald will next week bring forward a bill that aims to toughen the country's bail laws.

She also confirmed that the second Special Court was now in operation and that her department was working to ensure it could be made easier for judges to alternate between the two courts,

Speaking yesterday, Ms Fitzgerald warned the criminals involved in the Kinahan-Hutch feud "you will not win".

She said there was "heightened security" in Dublin this weekend amid fears the gangs may use the anniversary of the Regency Hotel murder to carry out fresh attacks.

It will be a year ago on Sunday since David Byrne was gunned down by men posing as gardaí in the well-known hotel on the outskirts of the capital.

The feud has already claimed 11 lives.

"There is heightened security all of that time. That's reality of the way we responded to what happened in the Regency Hotel.

"It was an outrage against the local community, an outrage against every citizen. That's why we reacted very quickly with resources, with legislation, with a new Armed Response Unit for Dublin, with saturation policing, with a huge amount of overtime," Ms Fitzgerald said.

Asked if she had a message for the gangsters involved, she replied: "We dealt with a similar situation in Limerick. We dealt with it in Crumlin. It took time. It took resources. These people think they are above the law, but they are not above the law.

"That's what's become clear in recent weeks and I hope they get that message. That's the message from me as Minister for Justice, it's the message from the Government and the message from An Garda Síochána."

She said the court decision this week to seize the properties of former gang boss John Gilligan proved that nobody was above the law.

"It may take time but you will not win," she said, before paying tribute to the work of gardaí.

But Ms Fitzgerald acknowledged that the gangs were unlikely to stop what she called a "cycle of retaliation and revenge", meaning the Government must also be "relentless".

Irish Independent

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