Violent year has had a bloody end
Once again, the scourge of gangland crime has struck in our capital city. The year began with the military-style assassination in the Regency Hotel and has now ended in the 11th murder in a gangland feud that long ago got utterly out of control.
The list of the murdered over the past 15 months features:
Gary Hutch, murdered in Costa del Sol, Spain, in September 2015;
Darren Kearns (33) shot dead in Cabra in December 2015
David Byrne, murdered in the Regency Hotel in February;
Eddie Hutch Senior, murdered in Dublin city in February;
Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan, murdered in his home in Ratoath, Co Meath, in March;
Martin O'Rourke, murdered on Sheriff Street in a case of mistaken identity in April;
Michael Barr, murdered in Sunset House pub, north inner city, in April;
Gareth Hutch, murdered at Avondale House flat complex in north inner city in May;
Dáithi Douglas, murdered in the Liberties area of Dublin in July;
Trevor O'Neill, murdered while holidaying in Spain in a case of mistaken identity in August;
Noel Kirwan is shot dead in Ronanstown, west Dublin.
Whether the victims were involved in crime themselves, related to criminals, innocent bystanders or mistaken for others doesn't matter: they were all murdered and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
Only through significant and adequate policing, and the help of a community with confidence in the abilities of gardaí, will this epidemic of callous violence be brought to an end.
Giving to charity vital to help society's vulnerable
A staggering 3,000 people queued from early morning to receive Christmas food parcels from the Capuchin Day Centre, run by Brother Kevin Crowley and his team.
The so-called 'festive season' is the busiest time of the year for the centre and demand has gone up a whopping three-fold since last year. In their thousands, people queued from as early as 5am in the cold to receive two bags containing perishable and non-perishable goods.
Centre workers had put together 3,000 bags with chicken, butter, bacon and sausages in the parcel. Tea, sugar, cereals, tinned beans, chocolates, tinned fish and custard were found in non-perishable bags. These are basic necessities - not luxuries for any family.
The crowds are so big that gardaí are required to keep the queues flowing, but these people wait patiently in line to collect a package.
The raison d'etre of the operation is simply to ensure nobody goes hungry this Christmas and help comes in from right across the country.
The economic downturn has cast so many people into the margins of society that charities like the Capuchin Day Centre and the Society of St Vincent de Paul are now an absolute requirement to ensure many can get by on a day-to-day basis. The homeless crisis is a vivid reminder of the problem but there are so many more who have a roof over their heads but can't support themselves.
Your help for these established charities does not go astray.