Life now very cheap indeed, says Kenny


GANGLAND KILLINGS:THE MURDER of two men in the presence of children on Monday showed “life has become very cheap indeed”, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said yesterday.

He was responding to the gangland-style murders of Declan O’Reilly in Dublin and Gerard Eglington in Portarlington, less than 12 hours apart.

“This is absolutely brutal treatment by people who have ordered the destruction and assassination and the murder of people in public,” he said.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter described the murders as “barbaric”. The “callousness” of the perpetrators showed they “lack even a shred of humanity or decency”, he said in a statement. The deaths “starkly illustrate that the evil perpetrators have absolutely no respect for human life”.

He promised Government support for gardaí to counteract the “evil menace in our society”.

Resources would not be a problem to gardaí as they worked to bring the killers to justice, Deputy Garda Commissioner Nacie Rice said. “Each of these killings has been assigned an investigation team of detectives, gardaí and specialists and no resources ever have been or ever will be spared in terms of solving these very horrific crimes,” he said. Gardaí did not see these as “gangland killings” but treated every murder as an investigation.

“It’s terrible when it happens and I have to condemn all the killings over the last couple of days, the barbarity, the cruelty, it knows no bounds for some people,” he said at the National Ploughing Championships yesterday. “We as an organisation are determined to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

He defended Garda handling of gangland inquiries and said the past two weeks were “very very proactive in terms of arrests, searches and bringing people before the courts”.

The potential for bystanders to be injured in such killings was “frightening”, deputy general secretary of the the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors John Redmond said. Sergeants and inspectors were trying to investigate the crimes “as best they can” and were “committed” to bringing perpetrators to justice.

He raised concerns over resources for investigations. “We continue to make our case to the Minister [for Justice] that we need the resources to carry out the investigative roles we are involved with,” he told RTÉ Radio. Among the issues he raised was the lack of new Garda recruits.