Gangland crime set to dominate agenda at Garda conference after Dublin shootings

The issue of gangland crime will be high on the agenda at today's conference of the Garda Representative Association in Kerry.

Update 10.38am: Detective Garda Darren Martin says criminals are getting their hands on similar weapons to elite gardaí.

The types of firearms that are available to criminals these days are almost on par with what is available to the guards as well,” he said.

“We don’t want situations where we are engaged in firefights and engaged in armed confrontations, but if that situation arises, then obviously we want our members armed with the best equipment that’s available to them to deal with those situations.”

Earlier: Two men were shot dead in seemingly unrelated attacks in Summerhill and Clondalkin last night.

Rank and file gardaí say unarmed officers should not be sent to situations involving firearms.

The GRA also said it is unacceptable they have not had tactical training in eight years.

GRA president Dermot O’Brien said that it is unacceptable to have unarmed officers responding to the Regency Hotel shooting in February.

"A 500-metre perimeter would be set up around an incident like that, where unarmed officers would not enter - they would cordon off the area, deal with people leaving that area, and let armed members go in and deal with it," he said.

"But the difficulty we have is - we don't have enough members to go in.

"That's what the issue is - that's why you had unarmed members attending the scene at the Regency Hotel. And that's just not acceptable in this day and age.

"So we will be urging the commissioner to re-instate tactical training, because tactical training comes on both sides, for both armed and unarmed members."


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