Gardaí are targeting up to 15 major criminal gangs around the country, it emerged today.
With a string of shootings across the capital in the past four weeks, Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy insisted officers were working to bring leading gangsters to justice.
“There are up to 12 major files in relation to major criminal gangs with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP),” the commissioner said.
“There are prosecutions in two of those already and as I speak members of my force are putting together more files, getting the evidence with these files to the DPP, with a view to prosecution.”
Speaking at a Garda graduation ceremony in Templemore, Co Tipperary, Mr Murphy said detectives were tackling gangs nationwide.
“We are talking about 14 to 15 significant gangs,” he added.
There have been 17 gun murders so far this year, with a spate of killings in Dublin in recent weeks.
The Corbally brothers, Paul and Kenneth, were shot in a double murder in Neilstown in late June, Colm Owens was gunned down at an industrial estate in Finglas on July 9th and suspected killer Stephen “Madzer” Byrne was shot dead in the north inner city last Tuesday.
Labour justice spokesman Pat Rabbitte said gangsters needed to be brought before the courts as soon as possible.
“It was 13 months ago that the Minister for Justice promised when he brought in the legislation for the Special Criminal Court for these type of cases to be tried there.
“And 13 months later not a single case has yet come before a jury-less court.
“It is disappointing — one would have thought we would see the cases beginning to appear by now.”