Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Murphy in pledge over Dublin killings

Irish Times

Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy speaks to the media outside Ronanstown Garda station in Clondalkin, Dublin, after the double shooting of two bothers last night in Neilstown, west Dublin. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA WireRelated
Witness to killings questioned | 29/06/2010EOIN BURKE-KENNEDY
Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy has vowed to commit the full resources of the gardaí in bringing those responsible for last night's double murder to justice.
Commissioner Murphy said the type of criminal activity that led to the killings cannot be tolerated in Irish society and would not be tolerated by An Garda Síochána.
“I wish to assure the people in this country that we will deal with this head-on and bring the people responsible to justice,” he said at a briefing in Ronanstown Garda station earlier today.
“We’re making arrests, we’re seizing drugs and we’re bringing people before the courts but there is a small core of people who are intent on settling scores by taking the lives of their enemies,” he said.
Commissioner Murphy said he could fully understand the public’s fear regarding gangland activity but insisted gardaí would use all its resources and its specialist units “to be in the face of these criminals”.
Last night’s killings brought to 14 the number of people shot dead so far this year and was the second double gun murder of 2010.
Local TD and Labour’s justice spokesman Pat Rabbitte said the murders showed again the viciousness of the criminal gangs operating in Irish society.
“It’s just appalling that it has come to this that human life is this cheap and professional killers roam the streets.”
Mr Rabbitte said the reason the criminal gangs are prepared to murder with impunity is that they know that there is little prospect of the killers being brought to justice.
He said crime figures, which he obtained from the Department of Justice earlier this year, showed that the 193 gun murders committed since 1998 resulted in just 23 convictions.
“These figures mean that just one gun murder in eight is likely to result in somebody ending up behind bars. This shocking statistic lays bare the claims of Fianna Fáil on crime.
Fianna Fáil TD for the area and Government Chief Whip John Curran condemned the murders, saying those responsible “had shown absolutely no regard for human life”.
“I know the people of Neilstown will be totally appalled to hear of this awful crime, regardless of the circumstances. There can be no justification for the taking of human life,” Mr Curran said and urged local residents to support the Garda investigation.
Fine Gael justice spokesman Charlie Flanagan said killings showed certain communities continue to be “terrorised by gangsters”.
“The fact that this double murder took place on a bright evening, while people were out enjoying the sunshine and children were playing, shows how communities continue to be terrorised,” Mr Flanagan said.
He accused the Government of not acting on its responsibilities.
“Urgent gangland legislation was rushed through the Dáil last year to make gang membership an offence, with Fine Gael’s full support,” he said.
“But it’s not being enforced under justice minister Dermot Ahern, and there hasn’t been a single conviction. In spite of his grand words and gestures, Minister Ahern is not making any impact against gangland,” he said.
Sinn Féin’s justice spokesman Aengus Ó Snodaigh said: “It is clear that more resources are needed to be dedicated to the fight against drugs in our communities.
“Gardaí, who are fully trained to fight against crime, need to be taken out from behind their desks and put directly into the fight against the drugs crisis in this State.”

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Gangland murderer's girlfriend will not face charges after jury details found in apartment

Sunday Tribune

Ali Bracken, Crime Correspondent
THE girlfriend of gangland murderer Brian Rattigan will not face charges after highly confidential personal details of a jury who convicted her boyfriend were found at her apartment, sparking a major criminal investigation.
Twenty-six-year-old Natasha McEnroe, from Drimnagh in Dublin, was arrested last March after the names and addresses of the jurors who found her boyfriend guilty of murder were found in her apartment in Adamstown, west Dublin. However, a source said McEnroe will not be charged in relation to the "worrying discovery".
Under the law, as a defendant, Brian Rattigan was entitled to access to the personal details of the jury in his case. However, this did not mean that Natasha McEnroe was entitled to have this information in her possession.
But as the young woman told gardaí that Rattigan must have left this confidential information at her apartment, there is insufficient evidence to charge her with any criminal offence.
Section 16 of the 1976 Juries Act states: "Every person shall be entitled to reasonable facilities to inspect a panel of jurors free of charge and a party to any proceedings, civil or criminal, to be tried with a jury shall be entitled to a copy free of charge on application to the county registrar."
The book of evidence in John Gilligan's murder trial was also found at McEnroe's home. Detectives are probing why she had this in her possession and a source said it was a "worrying development of possible major significance". Gilligan was found not guilty of the 1996 murder of journalist Veronica Guerin. Rattigan and Gilligan are both housed at Portlaoise prison.
Fine Gael's justice spokes-man Charlie Flanagan said it was a "major anomaly" in the law that allows those on trial to access jurors' personal details and he has raised it with justice minister Dermot Ahern.
In December 2009, Rattigan was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of rival gang member Declan Gavin in August 2001 outside a fast food restaurant. It was the first murder in the so-called Crumlin/Drimnagh feud, which has claimed the lives of 16 people so far.
June 20, 2010

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Drug boss Kinahan faces jail in Belgium for money laundering

Sunday Tribune

Ali Bracken, Crime Correspondent
IRISH international drug trafficker Christy Kinahan faces being transferred from his Spanish prison cell to a Belgium jail this week when a court there rules on an appeal he lodged against a money-laundering conviction in 2008.
In May 2008, Kinahan received a four-year sentence in Belgium for money laundering assets worth in the region of €2.5m.
He appealed the conviction after serving a few months and was out on bail when he was arrested in Spain two weeks ago as part of a major investigation into his gang's €1bn drugs empire.
On Thursday, the court of criminal appeal in Belgium will decide to uphold or reject his appeal. If it is upheld, as is expected, his sentence will be activated and he will be transferred back to Belgium to serve his time.
The 53-year-old Dubliner is the source of most of the cocaine and cannabis that comes into Ireland and is the leader of the major international drugs and money laundering cartel under investigation across Europe.
Kinahan was one of 22 people arrested in Spain two weeks ago and was brought before the Spanish courts last weekend.
He has been remanded in custody in Spain pending further investigation. He is being detained at Malaga's Alhaurin de la Torre jail along with his two sons, Daniel and Christy Jnr, who were arrested in the same probe.
Kinahan can be held in prison without charge for two years while the Spanish authorities, the gardaí and the British Serious Organised Crime Agency continue their investigations.
His arrest is likely to lead to a major drugs shortage on the streets in the short to medium term. Gardaí involv­ed in Operation Shovel, which included police forces in Ireland, Britain and Spain, believe Kinahan organised drugs shipments with a street value of over €1bn – some sources say the final figure could be as high as €1.5bn.
Gardaí have seized €70m worth of drugs sourced by Kinahan and his gang since 2002 and estimate that the seizures amounted to only 5% to 10% of the total drugs that reached Ireland undetected.
Spanish police are planning another series of raids in the coming weeks. Crime boss 'Fat' Freddie Thompson is to be targeted. He has fled Spain and is now in Holland.
June 6, 2010