Assistant Garda Commissioner John O’Driscoll appeared on RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland today: “In total we have intervened in about 77 incidents since the Regency hotel incident in February 2016.”
“Our main focus throughout 2021 has been dealing with the threat to life aspect of organised crime where criminals attempt to murder people who get in the way of their business.”
“This year fortunately we’ve only had to intervene on two occasions where there was a real and imminent threat to life.”
David Byrne was shot down at a boxing weigh-in at the city centre hotel on February 5th 2016, however gardai believe that cartel boss Daniel Kinahan was the target of the attack.
The incident was part of an ongoing feud, which has so far claimed 18 lives, between the Hutch crime gang led by Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch and the Kinahan cartel.
The Hutch-Kinahan feud began in 2015 when The Monk’s nephew Gary Hutch was shot dead in Marbella, Spain.
The Monk is currently in prison awaiting trial for the murder at the Regency.
Despite being named in the high court as a key figure in global organised crime, 44-year-old Daniel Kinahan has escaped arrest.
Discussing the Gardai’s pursuit of Kinahan, John O’Driscoll said the gardai will “continue to pursue [him]” until they achieve prosecution.
“We continue to target the main people in all organised crime groups.”
Daniel currently resides in Dubai, where there is no extradition treaty in place with Ireland.
More than 50 members of the crime gang are currently behind bars.
13 key associates of the gang including Trevor Byrne, Peader Keating, Declan ‘Mr Nobody’ Brady and Caolan Smyth were among those jailed this year.
“We target cash in particular and the proceeds of crime,” the Assistant Commissioner added.
“A total in the region of 25 million has been seized by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime bureau since 2015.”
“About 5.5 million seized this year alone. We have lodged about 8million into the state finances in the current year where prosecutions have advanced to such an extent that the state has been in a position to take possession of the money.”
Assistant Commissioner O’Driscoll said that organised crime groups “target people who are vulnerable within law enforcement”.
It came as earlier this year it was revealed that in 2020 the suspension of Garda from duty hit a record high with over 70 members suspended from the force.
Reasons for suspension included inappropriate association and drug-related intoxication.
“We have a far greater number of members of An Garda Siochana, 13,500 members currently, in an organisation of that size, there is potential that people will engage in wrongdoing.”
“There are human frailties involved. But also, we are very conscious, particularly in relation to organised crime, that criminals will target people who are vulnerable within law enforcement.”
“We’re alert to the fact that issues will arise from time to time and it’s important that we handle them.”
Other reasons for suspension were sexual misconduct, use of social media, intimidation, misconduct towards another Garda member, fraud, dishonesty and abuse of authority.