Gardaí 'foiled 30 murders this year'

Gardaí 'foiled 30 murders this year'
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More than 30 murders have been prevented in recent months by An Garda Siochana's Special Crime Operations unit, a senior officer has claimed.

Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll said that on a number of occasions, the perpetrator was caught with a gun in their hand and wearing a balaclava.

He claimed that an injection of resources into the Special Crime Operations branch had prevented a surge in murders related to the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

So far this year, the organised crime bureau has seized three assault rifles, two submachine guns, six semi-automatic pistols and two shotguns, the assistant commissioner added.

"Despite the fact there was a feud and we had the Regency Hotel incident at the beginning of that and fear of increased murders throughout the city, that hasn't happened. It is this increased capacity that has given rise to that situation," he said.

Mr O'Driscoll said the number of murders prevented through police intervention since January is higher than 30.

"They are not just ordinary run-of-the-mill interventions. In many of those circumstances, it has involved discovering people so ready to implement the actions in terms of murdering that they have guns and weapons at hand and dressed for the occasion in balaclavas and whatever.

"These were circumstances where there was a definite intention to kill and that ambition was not achieved because of intervention by An Garda Siochána."

He said the intervention involved enhanced intelligence capacity and international co-operation in some instances.

It is expected that an additional 117 officers will be appointed to special crime operations.

Mr O'Driscoll said moving additional officers to the bureau will not affect policing in other areas due to recruitment.

By the end of the year, 800 new recruits will have passed through the police training college at Templemore.

Mr O'Driscoll referred to the recent double murder in Ballymun as a reason why the force needs extra capacity.

He said the attack was an example of what happens when violent and dangerous people have access to firearms.

Mother-of-six Antoinette Corbally, 48, and Clinton Shannon, 30, were shot dead at a house on Balbutcher Drive on August 16.

Gardaí believe the shooting is gang-related and that the intended target fled when the shooting began.

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