| 8.3°C Dublin

Bishop calls for communities to fight gang crime

THE country's most senior Bishop has spoken of his horror at the latest spate of gangland violence to hit Dublin.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said there was a problem with Irish society's "silence in the face of the horrific violence that mars our streets".

He appealed to communities to come together to combat gang crime.

Following the discovery of the body of murdered criminal Alan Desmond last weekend by children playing on Killinarden Hill in west Dublin, Dr Martin asked: "What does this say to our people?"


"That it was children who found the body – that horrifies me," he said.

And in reference to the drive-by shooting of Karl Wynne last week outside a shopping centre in Tallaght, Dr Martin said: "The brutality of some of these instances is very frightening."

Wynne (45) sustained severe injuries to his head and upper spine after being shot four times by a motorcycle pillion passenger shortly before 10pm last Thursday.

He had been sitting outside a vegetable store at the shopping centre on St Dominic's Road in Tallaght and there were a number of people around at the time of the shooting.

He remains on a life-support machine as gardai hunt for the two would-be assassins.

"Is there no way in which communities can come together to do something?" said Dr Martin.

He paid tribute to the gardai for "doing extraordinarily good work" in response to the capital's violence, which he suggested was mostly "linked with gangland criminality".


But he was critical of the fact that the gardai "are about the only group doing something".

"There must be some way in which people can be brought to their senses about this. Mothers must see that their children, who are in their 20s, are being murdered," he said at a eucharistic gathering in Enniscorthy over the weekend.

The violence was "a dead end", he said, adding that those responsible "must know that this is getting them nowhere".

Of the culture of reprisals, he said gang members had to realise that "as one person is killed, their own life was then at risk the next day".