Home > Dail Eireann debate. Other questions - Gangland crime [32018/20].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Other questions - Gangland crime [32018/20]. (22 Oct 2020)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/2...

  1. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice if she will outline progress in the fight against organised crime and the activities and membership of organised criminal gangs; her views on the adequacy of existing legislation to deal with any challenges arising; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32018/20] 

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan - This question relates to the activities of criminal gangs and the degree to which success has been achieved in dealing with them. It is an issue that has been raised many times in the House. I have raised it myself on many occasions and I look forward to the reply. 

Deputy Helen McEntee - I know this is an issue in which the Deputy has taken a great interest. I am determined that organised crime must not take hold in our communities. The Government and An Garda Síochána are united in our resolve to relentlessly target organised crime at all levels and to send a clear message to criminals that we will take all necessary actions to stop them, to bring them to justice and to prevent them from leading our youth into a life of crime and violence. 

I am also determined to strengthen the laws relating to gangland crime where needed and that is why the very first piece of criminal justice legislation that I am bringing forward as Minister is the criminal justice (miscellaneous provisions) Bill. This will increase the maximum sentence for conspiracy to murder from ten years to life. The Garda has done excellent work in intercepting and preventing murders. However, the fact that they are doing their job effectively and arresting criminals before they can carry out their plans to murder people should not make conspiracy to murder any less an offence than actual murder. The new legislation will ensure that the seriousness of the crime will be reflected in the sentence judges can impose. 

I am pleased to say that sustained action by An Garda Síochána has continued unabated throughout the pandemic, bringing significant convictions and ongoing seizures of drugs, firearms and ammunition. In the first six months of 2020, Garda operations to counter organised crime resulted in the seizure of €13.6 million worth of illicit drugs, 13 firearms and 2,000 rounds of ammunition. Just this week, the Garda conducted a search operation of a single heavily fortified compound in the Crumlin area of south Dublin. The search was conducted by CAB in conjunction with Crumlin district personnel and support from the emergency response unit, the air support unit, the armed support unit and the customs dog unit. During the operation, two men were arrested and detained for money laundering offences and a significant amount of cash and property were seized. Also this week, a man was arrested and €800,000 worth of cannabis and €80,000 in cash were seized in the Clondalkin area.

An Garda Síochána has an excellent relationship with its international partners, including Interpol and Europol. Ongoing liaison between the Garda and law enforcement agencies throughout Europe and beyond has led to a number of successful joint operations targeting attempted importation of drugs and firearms and has resulted in significant arrests both here and in other jurisdictions….

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