Dublin’s gangs ‘a real threat to democracy’ says Archbishop

Diarmuid Martin warns ‘there is an underbelly which we ignore at our peril’

Dr Martin commended gardaí for their efforts, but said the gangs were like a cancer uncontrolled. “They are people without a conscience.”  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Dr Martin commended gardaí for their efforts, but said the gangs were like a cancer uncontrolled. “They are people without a conscience.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin said Dublin’s criminal gangs are “a real threat to democracy” and he warned that “there is an underbelly which we ignore at our peril.”

He told RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show “these criminals are in the business of death.” He said it wasn’t just the victims of the gangland feud, but also the many victims of drug abuse who were dying because of the gangs.

“This is indicative of the culture of violence in our society which we have underestimated.

“How can we work on building safe communities when everyone is living under the cloud of this violent group.”

The Archbishop warned that young people were being “dragged” in the violent business of the gangs.

“My main concern is for the families and children living in this environment. It is difficult to get out of it.”

He said he did not think the gangs would listen to anyone, especially him if he told them they were going to hell for their actions. “They would simply laugh at me.”

Dr Martin commended gardaí for their efforts, but said the gangs were like a cancer uncontrolled. “They are people without a conscience.”

He pointed out that in Italy when it came to combatting the mafia, it was local communities that stood up and paid the price and that magistrates who dealt with mafia cases were shot and killed. “They are a cancerous group in society. These people are unscrupulous.”