By Cormac Looney
Wednesday June 24 2009
Almost 1,100 gangland-related incidents have been recorded by gardai in one part of Finglas over the past 12 months.
Officers in Finglas South running Operation Archer have carried out 509 searches since the anti-gang initiative was set up last August, and have dealt with 1,049 criminal incidents.
The scale of the figures is significant because Operation Archer does not include crime based in Finglas West -- regarded as one of the country's busiest gangland areas and scene of a number of violent incidents, including murders, to date this year.
Instead, it has targeted organised crime in the Finglas South area, where officers have been deployed undercover in many cases to investigate drug dealing and other serious crime. The initiative has also recorded 259 traffic-related incidents.
The area has been in the headlines in recent weeks, following the murder of a man at Kippure Park 12 days ago. Maurice Martin (21), who was originally from Finglas but lived in Navan, was knifed to death after a drinking session in the area.
Four people arrested over the killing, three of whom were women in their early 20s, were arrested and questioned over the murder this week. They were later released without charge.
Operation Archer has been led and coordinated by local officers attached to Finglas garda station, who have on occasion been backed up by the Special Detective Unit, the Emergency Response Unit, and the Organised Crime Unit.
Operation Archer was established in late August 2008, around the time of the murder of Finglas South resident Paul 'Farmer' Martin, who was murdered in a gangland killing in the Jolly Toper pub on nearby Church Street, Finglas. A number of associates of Martin, and underworld enemies of his, have been targeted as part of the operation.
A number of significant firearms and drugs seizures have been made by officers attached to the operation over the past 10 months since its inception.
Officers working on the operation have also carried out follow-up searches in other areas of north Co Dublin and in county Meath, yielding captures of sawn-off shotguns, handguns, drugs and even crossbows.
- Cormac Looney