Gardai want more armed protection from murderous feud gangs
THE organisation that represents more than 10,000 rank and file gardai wants more armed units to help uniformed officers working in protection posts while the Kinahan-Hutch feud continues.
The Garda Representative Association (GRA) made the call for more armed assistance amid growing concerns among unarmed gardai who are on the frontline of the deadly feud that has so far claimed 10 lives.
Checkpoints and security patrols have been placed near the homes of people whose lives are under threat.
However, sources have said there is growing discontent among uniformed officers assigned to protection duty in the capital.
These include unarmed officers placed outside various estates in the north-inner city where members of the Hutch family live.
"The gardai on the ground are growing increasingly concerned at unarmed officers being placed on posts where they could potentially encounter armed criminals," a source said.
"Uniformed officers are regularly being placed without any immediate armed support, and they are understandably growing more concerned at the danger they could face."
GRA president Ciaran O'Neill said the Government needs to provide more armed cover for areas where uniformed officers are on feud-related patrols.
"The GRA is concerned about the level of gun violence in Dublin, as seen last Friday afternoon when shots were fired in the Drumalee estate close to the North Circular Road,” he said.
"Unarmed members of the force were nearby at this time and the GRA thinks the Government should be willing to provide more armed gardai.
"These armed officers would help protect unarmed colleagues as well as helping members of the public feel a lot safer in their own homes."
It was previously revealed that a close associate of 'Fat' Freddie Thompson was the chief suspect in Friday’s botched hit.
The 34-year-old is a senior Kinahan lieutenant and gardai have linked him to previous attempted murders.