Armed Garda unit has thwarted 25 murder attempts, conference told

Deputy commissioner praises work of unit introduced in wake of gang feud

Deputy Commissioner John Twomey: said armed support unit dealing with about three serious incidents in Dublin each day. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Deputy Commissioner John Twomey: said armed support unit dealing with about three serious incidents in Dublin each day. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

 

About 25 murder attempts have been thwarted since additional teams of armed gardaí were drafted on to the streets of Dublin to deal with the Kinahan-Hutch gang feud in the past 15 months, Deputy Commissioner John Twomey has said.

Mr Twomey said the armed support unit was dealing with an average of about three serious incidents in Dublin each day.

He said the Garda had recommended the armed unit’s establishment in a report to the Government. Operating since late last year, it had dealt with 248 serious incidents in its first three months.

“We are very happy with the work it has done so far; 248 incidents is quite a considerable amount,” he told the annual conference of the Association of Garda Superintendents. “In the context of lives being saved and communities being made safer, I think it has worked very well so far.”

The superintendents’ association had suggested that more resources and training were needed, and Mr Twomey said he believed their concerns would be addressed by the modernisation and renewal programme currently being implemented. It covered all aspects of policing, with extra resources and a large number of organisational changes included.

“It will take time,” he said. “They need to be implemented carefully because An Garda Síochána is a big, big organisation, and every change that is introduced, we have to be aware of the consequences it may have for other parts of the organisation.”

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald told the superintendents the armed unit and a special crime task force for Dublin had struck repeated blows against organised crime in the city in recent months.

“All of this has led to a reduction in crime and increased public safety. You have redoubled your efforts in the face of very serious threats,” she said. “So, as criticism is sometimes warranted, acknowledgement is required too. Constant criticism erodes confidence and energy. I want to say thank you for those efforts.”