Archbishop says gangland criminals an ‘insult to humanity’

Dr Martin was speaking at annual commemoration for families that have lost loved ones to drugs and alcohol

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: “I am running out of words adequate to express the horror and inhumanity and barbarism of people who have for years exploited the weakest.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: “I am running out of words adequate to express the horror and inhumanity and barbarism of people who have for years exploited the weakest.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

 

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said those involved in gangland criminality are without a conscience and an “insult to humanity”.

Archbishop Martin was speaking at a mass at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Sean McDermott Street, Dublin on Thursday. The annual commemoration is organised by the National Family Support Network for families that have lost loved ones to drugs and alcohol.

“Very few communities in Ireland have had visited on them the levels of brutal violence that this community has witnessed, right up until these days,” he said.

Jason Molyneux, a father of one, was shot outside his home at James Larkin House, a north inner city flats complex, in Dublin’s inner city on Tuesday night.

Molyneux was associated with the Hutch family and was a very close friend of Derek Coakley Hutch (27), who was shot dead in west Dublin last Saturday week. He was the 14th person to die as part of the feud between the Kinahan and Hutch families.

“I am running out of words adequate to express the horror and inhumanity and barbarism of people who have for years exploited the weakest through drug supply, through blackmail and debt, and who feel that they can keep an entire community in their grip through brutal violence. These are people without a conscience, an insult to humanity,” said Dr Martin.

He said the inner city community must stick together against gangland violence.

“Women and men who have stood up with dignity and courage. Women and men who want a community of which their young people can be proud. We are here with people who have had to mourn and face loss and suffer bereavement, but who were then prepared to help others in their grief. These are the people who show us what social conscience means. We are truly indebted to them for what they do and for what they stand for,” he said.

Threats and intimidation

Sadie Grace of the National Family Support Network said there has been an increase in the number reporting drug-related threats or intimidation but says the crime remains significantly under-reported.

“So many families live with drug-related intimidation every day, even if their loved one has died. The north inner city which has been particularly devastated by this and other drug-related crime. Real action and leadership is needed on this issue.

“What resources are available in the north inner city to fight drug intimidation?”asked Ms Grace.

“We have been led to believe the taskforce that was set up by Enda Kenny which led to the Mulvey report would have the necessary resources to tackle drug-related intimidation but we believe it can’t be tackled in any meaningful way without proper resources,” said Ms Grace.

The report, commissioned by former taoiseach Enda Kenny after a number of gangland shootings aimed to regenerate Dublin’s north inner city.

The document, put together by the former Workplace Relations Commission chairman Kieran Mulvey, recommended a three-year action plan.

Mr Mulvey recommended reopening Fitzgibbon Street Garda station, increasing Garda presence and helping to create jobs.

“The people in this community cannot wait any longer for action and for change. We the people sitting in this church are as resilient and determined and brave as they come,” Ms Grace said.