NewsCrime Desk

Armed checkpoints rolled out throughout Dublin to combat gang war

Armed checkpoints rolled out throughout Dublin to combat gang war

Armed gardai are fearful of another gangland murder with over 1,000 checkpoints set-up since the killing of David Byrne.

So far this year in the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) there have been six murders, with four of these linked to the ongoing Hutch/Kinahan feud.

In attempts to tackle organised crime gangs, some 1,287 armed and uniformed checkpoints have been deployed.

A further 462 armed patrols and 413 searches have been carried out.

The operations are part of Operation Hybrid, an initiative designed to provide an armed response to organised crime in the capital.

Detectives investigating the murder of taxi-driver Eddie Hutch (59) were last night continuing to question two feared hitmen.

The two men, aged in their 20s and 30s, were detained by armed detectives from Mountjoy Garda Station and are suspected of being involved in at least three feud murders.

Commenting on the efforts being made to combat persons involved in the Hutch/Kinahan feud, Assistant Commissioner Jack Nolan said he thought the investigations were going at "a pretty satisfactory pace".

"While I am constrained in discussing the particulars of the cases for operational reasons, I wish to assure this committee that all investigations are fully resourced and are making progress," Mr Nolan said.

Assistant Commissioner Nolan, who has special responsibilities for the DMR, also said that there has been "no scaling back in overtime" for armed national and regional units currently operating in the capital.

However, overtime for local units was only restored in the wake of the murder of dissident republican Michael Barr over two weeks ago.

In the immediate aftermath of the murder, which is believed to have been carried out by the Kinahan cartel, 24/7 armed patrols by local detectives were re-introduced in the Crumlin and Drimnagh area.

Operations have also been continuing in the north-inner city and south-inner city, with armed checkpoints occurring as well as the Garda Air Support Unit being deployed on a regular basis.

There was also a heavy garda presence near the Clontarf home of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch over the weekend, with the former crime lord believed to have returned to the capital in recent days.

Information obtained by senior officers in the Security and Intelligence Branch has also led to increased fears of further violence.

Speaking at Dublin City Council's Joint Policing Committee, Asst Comm Nolan stated that further disruptive measures would be taken by agencies including the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) and other national bureaus.

"Preventative checkpoints, patrols etc are continuing, in association with that in several areas across the city, particular search and disruption operations are being carried out.

"CAB and the Organised Crime Bureau have been seizing property, and that is continuing in other areas across the city," Mr Nolan said.

Chairman of the JPC Cllr Daithi de Roiste has also called on the Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to attend the committee's next meeting.

"We want to meet with the Justice Minister, we know gardai are doing everything they can to deal with these killings but the resources simply aren't there.

"We want the minister to address these issues and to tell us exactly what resources she is making available to gardai.

"There is fear in the communities, and people want to know what is being done to stop these gangs and to prevent further bloodshed on the streets.

"Gardai can only do so much with the resources they are given."

Robin Schiller