Cabinet to examine ways of tackling gangland crime

The Cabinet will today discuss ways to address increasing concerns around gangland crime following the recent killing in the spiralling Hutch-Kinahan feud.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald is believed to be finalising proposals on beefing up the powers of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), including the level of assets where investigations can be pursued.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny last week told the Dáil that all necessary resources would be made available to gardaí to tackle gangland crime — but only after he earlier said that he could not stop the killing spree.

Government sources confirmed that a discussion on gangland crime will take place at Cabinet today. This could include a number of elements, including how to strengthen facilities and resources to target gangland criminals.

It was reported at the weekend that Ms Fitzgerald is examining new laws to strengthen the powers of CAB. This could include lowering the threshold by which it can formally launch investigations into the proceeds of crime, from cases involving €13,000 to just €1,000. Such a measure would allow the garda agency investigate low-level criminals who may be linked to gang leaders or who are working for criminal groups.

Mr Kenny last week met gardaí in the wake of the latest gangland-linked killing, a feud which to date has claimed seven lives.

The latest victim, Gareth Hutch, was gunned down in Dublin’s North inner city. Mr Hutch was the nephew of Gerard ‘The Monk’ Hutch.

Meanwhile, the Labour party will launch its first Dáil motion today since entering opposition in a bid to highlight the needs of the lower paid but also to embarrass its former coalition partners, Fine Gael.

Brendan Howlin’s party will use a private members’ motion to demand that the minimum wage be increased to levels above and beyond that promised in the new Programme for Government.

While the Fine Gael-Independent minority government is promising to raise the wage to €10.50 in its lifetime, Labour wants it pegged at 60% of median earnings. The party also wants a living wage of €11.50 across the public sector.

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