Only 12pc of shooting murders lead to a conviction
FEWER than one in eight murderers who gun down their victims have been convicted in the past 12 years.
During that time 205 people have been shot dead -- but only 25 have been convicted for these crimes, said Justice Minister Dermot Ahern.
There have also been 557 incidents involving explosive devices over the past three years and only 27 people have come before the courts for these crimes.
This year 21 people have been gunned down -- but although legal proceedings have begun in seven cases, not a single person has been convicted.
Last year there were 23 murders and only one conviction and the previous year there were 21 gun murders and only two convictions.
In 2007 there were 18 murders with a single conviction; in 2006 there were 26 murders with just three convictions; and in 2005, three convictions for 22 murders.
Mr Ahern says that while gardai have made significant progress in the investigation of some killings "the reality is that there can be considerable difficulties in obtaining evidence in shootings which are the result of gangland activities".
There is often no connection or personal association between the victim and the perpetrator, which makes it very difficult for gardai and "witnesses may also be subject to high levels of intimidation not to come forward".
Mr Ahern said multi-agency approaches are being used to combat serious and gangland crime and operations are reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure their effectiveness.