Those involved in the latest spate of gang-related shootings must be put behind bars and their “business of death” undermined and destroyed, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has urged.
The Dublin archbishop has appealed to anyone with information about “this sickening underworld” to have the courage and the decency to come forward in the interest of all.
Archbishop Martin, who was speaking after mass in the Pro-Cathedral, was referring to three gang-related shootings in Dublin in recent weeks.
Sean Little, 22, was shot dead near Walshetown, north County Dublin in on Tuesday, May 21, Jordan Davis, 22, was murdered in Darndale, the next day and Hamid Sanambar, 41, was shot dead in Kilmore West on Tuesday, May 28.
A man in his early 40s was shot and seriously injured on Blakestown Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin, on Saturday evening. He made his way into a nearby Lidl supermarket where he was given first aid before being taken to hospital for treatment.
Archbishop Martin said he had expressed his concern and horror on a number of occasions recently about the level of violence that has affected life in Dublin in recent years.
He had spoken about the tragedy of knife violence, especially among young people, and he had talked about violence fostered by the “revolting business” of death of the drug cartels.
In the past weeks, however, this violence had taken on an unprecedented level of depravity with shootings taking place unscrupulously near schools and shopping centres, leaving families terrified and children witnessing brutality that would leave scars on their lives for years.
He wanted to know who were the people who carried out and sponsored such violence and why they thought they had a mandate to carry out such shameful violence simply in order to secure their wealth.
“The perpetrators and sponsors of such violence merit nothing but rejection and disdain. They belong behind bars and their business of death must be undermined and destroyed,” he said.
“I appeal to civil and community leaders to show a united and uncompromising response. I urge people to approach the gardaí, either directly or indirectly, to provide any information which can help remove this malignance from our streets.”
The archbishop also said that those who in such violence should not be allowed to use funerals as a show of strength.
“Where it can be ascertained that individuals how direct responsibility in this traffic in evil they will no longer be allowed to exploit religious services in the Archdiocese of Dublin to enhance their image.