Garda bosses yesterday said the Department of Justice has “promised” to continue providing the necessary funding in tackling the Kinahan-Hutch feud.
Assistant Commissioner Michael O’Sullivan said the additional overtime that has so far been provided had “definitely saved lives”.
He confirmed reports in yesterday’s Irish Examiner that some 11 attempted feud murders have so far been thwarted.
AC O’Sullivan said Garda members have stepped up and put themselves in “danger”, and have cancelled leave and weekends to tackle the gangs.
Figures show that the Garda overtime bill for Dublin has risen by 62% this year to €18.5m — directly in response to the threat posed by the Kinahan-Hutch feud.
The feud has so far claimed at least eight lives, with two other murders also being investigated.
AC O’Sullivan said the overtime operation had yielded huge results: “When you look at costings, it’s very difficult to say what is the cost of a human life, but lives are being saved.”
He told Morning Ireland on RTÉ: “In the last few months we have certainly foiled quite a number, probably as high as 10, 11, assassination attempts.”
He added: “Only in the last two to three weeks, we seized a car with false number plates and firearms in it, ready to be used, to shoot a particular individual.”
And on Monday, gardaí seized a submachine gun —capable of firing up to 600 rounds a minute — at a purported cartel safe house in a leafy part of north Dublin.
AC O’Sullivan said gardaí were coming from a “very low base” in terms of resources.
“This time last year, we hadn’t the financial resources — we hadn’t the challenges we have now.
“Every so often the Garda Síochána is faced with serious challenges. My mind goes back to the Veronica Guerin case when again huge financial resources were provided and from those resources you will get those results of lives being saved, of persons being arrested.”
He said: “We have been given sufficient funding to carry out our operations, there is no bar, and any further funding we need the department has promised us there is no shortage of funding. There is certainly no shortage of resources.”
He said the overtime many gardaí were earning reflected the protracted nature of operations, often lasting days and sometimes weeks.
“We are asking people to step up and they are stepping up: to put themselves in the line of danger, to put themselves in the line of harm, to work double tours, to cancel weekends off, to cancel holidays, to carry out the work we are asking them to do. It’s needed, necessary. It’s unfortunate we have to do that, but that’s what it takes.”
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