The Garda cannot fight crime without resource
2016-02-15 14:21:40 -

The gangland murders in Dublin earlier this month have again highlighted the lack of resources available to the Garda to fight organised crime.

Eddie Hutch Sr – brother of North Dublin crime boss The Monk – was murdered on 8 February at his home on Poplar Row in the north inner city in reprisal for the assassination of David Byrne at a boxing weigh-in three days prior.

Two others were seriously injured when a gang of at least four dressed in Swat-like uniforms opened fire with machine guns in a packed room at the Regency Hotel in Drumcondra – prompting armed Garda checkpoints throughout the city.

The sheer frequency of these high-profile gangland killings indicates serious lapses in policing – though Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald were quick to suggest that the murders were not due to a lack of resources.

Yet both the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors and Garda Representative Association (GRA) have made no secret of their view that gardaí are constrained in the fight against gangland criminals.

Indeed, there can be no doubt that the Garda needs stronger support if crime is to be tackled effectively – from gangland killings to rural burglaries. 

Garda numbers have fallen nationwide, particularly in rural areas, and overtime budgets that fund most Garda surveillance have been drastically cut. The implication that the Garda Organised Crime Unit is struggling to deal with increasingly armed gangs.

But hope is not all lost. Metro Éireann welcomes the announcement of new armed unit for Dublin and an extra €5m earmarked for policing. This will make a huge difference in the ongoing fight against serious crime – but is only one step towards ensuring peace of mind for law-abiding citizens across the country.

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