Kenny announces taskforce to deal with gangland killings
Gerry Adams blames previous FG and FF governments for closing Garda stations
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin: said there was a need for the State “to really get into the face of these criminals, assert who is in charge of our country and ensure that crime does not pay”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
A taskforce to deal with the fallout from the latest gangland killing in Dublin’s north inner city is to be set up, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.
He told the Dáil yesterday there would also be an action-based national strategy dealing with drugs, involving consultation with taskforces and communities.
“Beyond that, we need to look at the broader extent of facilities available to those communities which are grossly inadequate in many respects,” he added.
Mr Kenny was speaking before his meeting with Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.
Mr Kenny said community leaders should be able to work with young people, families and children to give them a sense of what an investment in communities could deliver for them.
He said he wanted to assure people that despite “murderous activities and attempted killings” the Government and public representatives stood with communities.
Z drugsFianna Fáil
He said the main issue on the streets of the north inner city concerned tablets and Z drugs, as they were called. The signing of regulations required to criminalise that activity and to give the Garda the power it required to arrest those who were distributing tablets across the city.
“Those powers are not there and, incredibly, the Garda is not in a position to move effectively on that particular phenomenon, which is a huge source of revenue to the drug lords and which is damaging young people in those communities,” Mr Martin added.
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said seven men had been murdered as part of a so-called criminal feud and people were living in fear.
He said the lack of Garda resources did not happen by accident. The Fine Gael government, during its last term, had closed Garda stations, as had Fianna Fáil. In Dublin’s north inner city, there were now 140 fewer gardaí than in 2010, he said.
He said words were not enough and there was a need for new approaches. An intelligent and effective police response was immediately required, he added.
Mr Howlin said there was a community under siege.
“Instead of dividing, we should unite in common purpose,” he added. “I hope everybody will join in common purpose and not see this as something that we can score points on.”