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"It’s impossible to stop determined gangsters committing murder," Garda Commissioner

Crime DeskBy Alan Sherry
"It’s impossible to stop determined gangsters committing murder," Garda Commissioner

Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan has said it is almost impossible to prevent determined gangsters committing murder, following three gun deaths in less than 24 hours.

The commissioner was speaking at the Garda Representative Association annual conference in Killarney where rank and file gardai have expressed concern about resources in tackling heavily armed gangs.

Describing the latest murders as horrific the commissioner admitted they will continue if the gangs are determined enough.

"It is almost impossible to prevent crime when criminals show they have the intent and capability to perpetrate such horrible violence against each other, and when they are determined to do it.

“But that will not deter us.

"One murder is one murder too many.

"Both of the murders in Dublin were absolutely horrific. They will be investigated fully.  We don't believe the murder in Clondalkin is feud related.

“There are a number lines of inquiry in relation to the murder in the inner city.

Last night two hitmen entered the Sunset House on Summerhill Parade, Dublin at 9.15pm and shot 34-year-old Michael 'Mickey' Barr three times, at least once in the head.

Hours later a lone gunman entered a house in Kilcronan Close, Clondalkin and shot 37-year-old Tom Farnan dead.

Earlier today a man in his 40s died in Cork following, what is believed to be the accidental discharge of a firearm.  

Commissioner O'Sullivan said that while the murders are continuing Gardai have saved lives through disruptive policing.

"There have been inroads made particularly in relation to disrupting the activities of those involved in organised crime and making sure lives are saved and preventing harm to communities.

“We will never give up the fight against organised crime."

She added a new armed unit will begin training in June but it will take time before they are fully operational.

GRA president Dermot O'Brien addressed the Commissioner at this afternoon's conference outlining the core issues for rank and file gardai.

"This year’s conference theme is ‘Restore, Rebuild, Reward’ and its core demand is that the pay of all Gardaí is restored to pre-2008 levels, that Garda numbers are rebuilt to the strength required to police this country and all Gardaí  are fully and rightfully rewarded for the sacrifices they make on a daily basis.

“We are the frontline, serving the public 24/7 365 days a year."

He said he knows the commissioner respects gardai and the job they do every day.

However, he added:

"That respect is not reflected by all your management.

“Your management team needs to not only understand the struggles we face but recognise the colossal commitment that the members have made and continue to make. This goes unnoticed on a daily basis."

He said morale is low and resources are stretched while the €23,000 pay for new recruits is not enough

"They joined, like us all, with great hope and expectation but soon discovered they were lured into a poverty trap.

“How can we expect them to be enthusiastic energetic members of the force when they go to work each day knowing they’re being paid less than those they work with yet expected to do the same?"

He also said gardai are constantly receiving abuse on social media and management have been "lacking" in not defending them.

"This is unacceptable when outrageous allegations can be levelled at us, money offered for personal information, threats made against us with little or no action being taken by Garda management.

“We are left powerless in the face of such social media campaigns. Action needs to be taken. There is a social media policy in place as to what we are not to do.

“However, no policy is in place to assist and help when we are attacked online.

“Management needs to urgently provide us with support guidance and most importantly of all, protection. A policy of social media protection is urgently required in An Garda Síochána.

“We respectfully ask you as our leader that you speak up for the organisation and protect us when we are attacked in all sections of the media."