Gardaí warn journalists to leave homes over gangland threats

Two Independent News & Media reporters covering slayings told to leave their homes

The gangland feud that has erupted in Dublin in recent days has a complex history involving the Hutch and Kinahan gang. Pictures: Collins

 

Two journalists who were involved in the coverage of recent gangland violence in Dublin have been told to leave their homes by gardaí following warnings that they may be at risk from armed criminals.

The warnings come as gardaí draw up plans for security operations for the funerals of David Byrne and Eddie Hutch, who were killed in the past week in gang-related violence.

The two reporters work for the Independent News & Media (INM) group and have been part of a team of journalists covering the feud which began with the killing of Mr Byrne at the Regency Hotel last Friday.

Garda sources said the journalists may have to live for a time in undisclosed locations.

The Irish Times understands the reporters concerned have already taken steps to increase their safety.

Outrageous

The group’s editor-in-chief, Stephen Rae, said the threats were outrageous, adding that they were already working with the Garda to strengthen security around the reporters.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he “deplored and condemned” any threat to journalism, describing freedom of the press as “one of the pillars of a functioning democracy”.

The National Union of Journalists’ Irish secretary, Seamus Dooley, said the threats were “shocking”.

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said that the Garda was working closely with INM to “do everything possible to ensure the safety of their journalists”.