Home > Dáil Éireann debate - Gangland killings [55544/12].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate - Gangland killings [55544/12]. (11 Dec 2012)

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319. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the steps he has taken to tackle the increase in gangland murders over the past number of months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55544/12] 

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): I share the widespread outrage at the type of criminality to which the Deputy refers. The brutal nature of these crimes is a stark reminder to us of the mentality of those involved in organised criminality and the danger which they pose to our society.

I am in ongoing contact with the Garda Commissioner about all aspects of serious crime and the Gardaí will continue to bear down heavily on the activities of those involved in gangland crime. The only effective way to combat organised crime is by disrupting and prosecuting those involved in its operations, and especially the drugs trade which is at the heart of much of its profits. There have been extensive Garda operations launched against gangs as well as significant drug seizures in recent months and weeks with drugs seizures estimated at €90.4m for the first nine months of this year.
We shouldn't underestimate the difficulties the Gardaí face in trying to prevent gangland killings and related crimes and in bringing the perpetrators to justice. These crimes are carefully planned and are carried out by people who are very familiar with criminal and forensic investigation techniques. Moreover, despite the clear risk to themselves, members of gangs will not generally cooperate with Garda investigations.
It would be wrong to characterise this as a budgetary matter. There has been gangland violence for some time in Ireland, and the number of murders was in fact higher when Garda numbers were higher than they are now. It is also unrealistic to expect that the Commissioner would devote his entire resources, to individually protecting people who are routinely trying to avoid the Gardaí so that they can continue to engage in criminal activity. Such an approach could only come at the expense of ordinary Garda activity to protect the community generally. We should also remember that week in week out the Gardaí are successfully bringing people involved in gangland activities before the Courts, securing convictions and that a substantial number are presently serving their sentences in prison.
There is already very strong anti-gangland legislation in place. As Minister I will continue to pursue important improvements to our overall legislative architecture. In this regard, the legislative priority for combating crime is the publication and enactment of a new Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Bill. This Bill represents a major step forward in the fight against serious crime. It will lead to the establishment, for the first time, of a national DNA database in Ireland. It will give the Gardaí access to intelligence on a scale and of a quality that was not previously been available in this country.
Finally I have made it clear to the Garda Commissioner that, if he feels there are other measures which might be taken in this area, then I will look at that very positively.
Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 786 No. 1
Tuesday, 11 December 2012
Item Type:Dail Debates
Date:11 December 2012
Subjects:MM-MO Crime and law > Substance related offence > Drug offence > Illegal drug possession (seizures)
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
MM-MO Crime and law > Organised crime
MM-MO Crime and law > Crime > Substance related crime > Crime associated with substance production and distribution

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