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Don't expect gardai to save you, Shatter tells gangland thugs

JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter has warned gangsters not to expect garda protection when their lives are at risk.

Speaking after three gangland hits in just five days, Mr Shatter said criminals do everything they can to avoid gardai -- so therefore cannot expect garda protection.

He added it was unrealistic that the Garda Commissioner would devote precious resources to individually protecting these criminals.

"It is unrealistic that the Garda Commissioner would devote his entire resources to individually protecting people who are routinely trying to avoid the gardai so that they can continue to engage in criminal activity," the minister told the Dail.


"Such an approach could only come at the expense of ordinary garda activity to protect the community generally," he added.

Mr Shatter said he also shared people's outrage at the latest killings of Gerard Eglington (26), Declan O'Reilly (32) and John Wilson (35), who were gunned down between last Monday and Friday in front of or near their children.

"We have all been shocked by the callous murders and other serious crimes carried out recently ," he told TDs during a debate on the increasing gangland violence.

"The brutal nature of these crimes is a stark reminder to us of the mentality of those involved in organised criminality and the danger they pose to our society," he said.

Mr Shatter also said he shared the concern about the number of attacks and attempted attacks using pipe bombs.

However, he said there are substantial garda operations to tackle the problem.

These focused on disrupting the use of pipe bombs and bringing those involved before the courts.

A pipe bomb-making factory was uncovered in a massive garda operation in a Traveller halting site in Darndale yesterday.


One man has been arrested and a quantity of guns and ammunition uncovered also.

Mr Shatter said the only effective way to take on crime gangs was by disrupting the drugs trade and imprisoning gang leaders.

"Substantial efforts by the gardai and Customs are therefore devoted to damaging this lucrative business," Mr Shatter said.