What can be done about crime levels in Dublin?

Crime in the city is to become focus of debate, one year into Kinahan-Hutch gang feud

Crime levels in Dublin city look set to move to the centre of political debate in coming days when members of the public get to express their concern about violence, drug dealing, gun crime and other serious offending.

In the first event of its kind, Lord Mayor Brendan Carr is opening the doors of City Hall in the south inner city so citizens can share their concerns.

Members of the public are expected to vent their anger at what many see as the capital’s worsening crime problem, though most categories of reported crime have been falling across the country for almost a decade.

The Crime in Dublin City public forum, which is being held on Wednesday, is to be chaired by RTÉ's Joe Duffy.



The forum follows similar public meetings in other parts of the country in recent months at which concerns were expressed about rural crime and which dominated public debate at the time.

Mr Carr said members of the public were being invited to raise their concerns about what he called “the recent increase in criminal violence in Dublin”.

The Garda will be represented by Assistant Commissioner Jack Nolan. The chair of the Government's northeast inner city taskforce Kieran Mulvey will also be present to listen to concerns.

The taskforce was established in July in response to a series of shootings in the city this year linked to the worsening Kinahan-Hutch gangland feud.

It seeks to chart the appropriate State response to the violence and to long-running issues such as on-street open drug dealing.

The gun feud in the city has necessitated a significant Garda response including running roving checkpoints manned by armed gardaí.

And though other forms of crime, from public disorder to burglary and assaults, are set to be debated on Wednesday, the gang feud has caused most concern for the Garda and public this year.

First killing

It is now exactly 12 months since the first fatality linked to the feud occurred, when Dubliner

Gary Hutch

(35) was shot dead on September 24th last year at an apartment block near


in southern



He was murdered by the Kinahan drugs gang, of which he was once a member, after it accused him of supplying information to the police. He had also tried to shoot a senior gang member.

Back in Dublin, his family had negotiated with gang leader Christy Kinahan for months in an effort to spare his life.

Agreement was reached and a large sum of money – believed to be about €200,000 – paid by the family to the Kinahans. However, the gang reneged on the deal and Gary Hutch was shot dead.

His murder has seen his former associates in Dublin at odds with the Kinahan gang, in both Ireland and Spain, for the past year.

A total of eight men have now lost their lives in attacks directly linked to the dispute and two other men have been shot dead in attacks peripheral to it.

David Byrne (34) from Crumlin, Dublin, was shot dead in an attack at the Regency Hotel in north Dublin on February 5th. Eddie Hutch (59) was shot dead on February 8th at his home in Dublin's north inner city.

A close associate of the Hutch family, Noel Duggan (55) was shot dead outside his home in Ratoath, Co Meath, on March 23rd.

Martin O’Rourke (24) was shot dead on Sheriff Street, Dublin 1, on April 14th after being mistaken for a Hutch family associate.

Michael Barr (35), a Hutch associate and dissident republican, was shot dead in a pub in Summerhill, Dublin 1, on April 25th.

Mistaken identity

Gareth Hutch

was shot dead on May 24th on North Cumberland Street, Dublin 1.

Dublin City Council worker Trevor O'Neill was shot dead in Majorca on a family holiday with his wife and young children on August 17th after he was mistaken for a member of the Hutch family.

On December 30th last year, Dubliner Darren Kearns (34) was shot dead in a pub car park on Blackhorse Avenue, Dublin, and his friend David Douglas (54) was shot dead on July 1st of this year in a related attack in Dublin 8.

Both men had been in prison together and were blamed by the Kinahan gang for an attempt on the life of a gang member outside a west Dublin pub last November.

Gardaí believe they have averted and foiled between 10 and 15 murder attempts, but there appears to be no end in sight to the violence.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times