Kinahan-Hutch feud resulted in over 45,000 Garda checkpoints

Dublin city councillors told situation had stabilised but threat was still real

Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy, who is in charge of policing in the Dublin Metropolitan Region, said the Garda was winning the battle against the feuding factions.Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy, who is in charge of policing in the Dublin Metropolitan Region, said the Garda was winning the battle against the feuding factions.Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

More than 45,000 Garda checkpoints have been carried out in response to the Kinahan-Hutch feud, Dublin city councillors have been told.

While senior Garda officers are concerned the armed checkpoints have become normalised in some of the flashpoint areas, they told the council’s joint policing committee that they will continue.

The Garda has now set out the full scale of the policing operation since February, 2016 when a gun attack at the Regency Hotel saw the feud violence erupt in Ireland.

* 45,681 checkpoints have been conducted in Dublin.

* 101 arrests and 281 searches have been carried out.

* 22 people have been charged with serious offences, including murder.

* 31 firearms have been seized.

The committee was told that 19 murders have been committed in the Dublin region so far this year. That compares to 14 murders in the same period last year. However, most of the killings are not feud-related and many are murders not involving firearms.

Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy, who is in charge of policing in the Dublin Metropolitan Region, said the Garda was winning the battle against the feuding factions. However, he stressed the threat they posed was still real.

“Over the course of 2016 and the second half of 2017, I think we’ve achieved some stabilisation of the situation,” he said.

“Communities across the city have probably reached the position where they are saying ‘the guards are on top of this’.

“And I think recent events have shown that; that’s not to say we’ve neutralised (the threat) because we certainly haven’t.

A lot of people involved in the feud “are either on the run or arrested” , he said.

“I think the State has come out on top at this particular point in time,” he said in relation to the feud in general.”

Mr Leahy accepted that having armed Garda teams on the streets in some parts of Dublin was “not normal policing”.

“It really bothered me hugely across the city that children were coming in and out to school and we had checkpoints at that time and they were seeing it; it was being normalised for them,” he said.

However, it was not yet time to “lift” the armed Garda checkpoints or the static patrols of uniformed gardaí at the homes of people whose lives were at risk due to the feud “all over the city”.

This was impacting “normal policing and community policing” but the armed response was required to preserve life.

Mr Leahy added Fitzgibbon Garda station in the north inner city would reopen. And it was recommended by the Garda that Cabra station once again become a 24-7 operation.