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.”