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Enda Kenny wants international response of gangland killings

Enda Kenny wants international response of gangland killings

Enda Kenny is demanding an international response to the spate of cold-blooded murders on the streets of Dublin, which he said were being ordered from overseas.

After the latest victim in a bloody feud was gunned down the Taoiseach suggested a crackdown was being hampered because offshore crime bosses were behind the hits.

Listing off a macabre roll call of some of the country's most murderous crime gangs in the past, he said they were all based within Ireland and could be targeted at a national level.

"At least in those cases in different years, those criminal gangs were based here in Ireland," he said.

"There is now a very strong international connection here, where hits are ordered from abroad and where this is as much about sending signals internationally about the so-called status of criminal gangs as it is about power, money and misery here.

"Those sent to carry out the killings or attempted killings - for in some cases very small sums - are really signals from those who live with the trappings of wealth and shallowness of wealth abroad and do their dirty business from abroad."

Gareth Hutch, who was in his 30s and the father of a young son, was shot dead in broad daylight on Tuesday morning in the Avondale House complex in Cumberland Street North.

A nephew of Gerry "The Monk" Hutch, he is believed to be the seventh victim of a brutally violent dispute between the Kinahan and Hutch families that has spiralled out of control.

The latest murder has sparked calls for a state crackdown on underworld gangsters similar to that launched when journalist Veronica Guerin was shot dead in 1996.

The Hutch family and their associates have been repeatedly targeted by rivals since the audacious AK47 gun attack on a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel in north Dublin in February.

David Byrne, from the Crumlin area of Dublin and an associate of the Kinahan family, was killed in that incident.

His murder was said to have been in retaliation for the fatal shooting of Gary Hutch in September last year on the Costa del Sol after he fell foul of the Kinahan outfit and their operations in Spain.

"These killings, these orders for attempts to kill are not being done on a whim in the corner of some kitchen in inner city Dublin," Mr Kenny told the Irish parliament, the Dail.

"These are being directed from international sources.

"So there needs to be a far greater connection and far more vigilant operation with international police forces and intelligence in respect of gangs like this."

Six of the seven men shot dead so far in the deadly gangland fall-out were killed over the past four months.

Mr Kenny has ordered a "full security briefing" from his Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and Ireland's police chief Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan to take place on Wednesday evening.

A 29-year-old man is being questioned in connection with the latest murder.

It is believed he voluntarily presented himself at Mountjoy Garda station hours after the shooting.

He is being held under section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007.