By Kevin Doyle
Saturday October 04 2008
TWENTY additional gardai have been drafted into the Coolock area to quell the rising gangland tensions and feuds.
The Herald has learned that the large complement of officers were put on the beat in recent weeks following a number of violent incidents, including the murder of Anthony "Anto" Foster in broad daylight.
Coolock was also the scene for the senseless murder of innocent young mother Donna Cleary who was shot dead at a house party in 2006.
Officers are now more determined than ever to clampdown on a number of young gangs that have begun to spring up on the northside.
Tensions have been bubbling among well armed gangs who are competing for the Coolock-Darndale drugs trade.
Welcoming the allocation, local Fianna Fail Senator Martin Brady told the Herald that criminals operating in the area need to know that gardai are watching them.
"I am delighted that a further 20 gardai will be on the beat," he said, adding: "This area has experienced a large number of crimes and it is vital that the gardai have a strong visible presence in the area to act as an effective deterrent to criminals and gangs who continue to plague our communities."
Speaking about the large number of incidents to take place within close proximity of decent residents, Senator Brady said: "This move will ensure that people feel safer on the streets and in their homes."
He added: "I will continue to lobby for further funding and resources to tackling crime and anti-social behaviour."
Gardai have successfully dealt blows to the networks already, seizing €1.5m worth of cocaine in January, as part of Operation Thaw.
Senior officers believe that the gang responsible for that haul is led by a notorious Traveller family who gardai would love to take down.
The gang also have a supply of firearms, ammunition and drugs paraphernalia.
The most recent garda figures for the area show that headline or serious crimes increased by 65pc between 2000 and 2007, causing parts of the community to live in fear.
- Kevin Doyle