Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been criticised for saying he “can do nothing to stop” the current spate of gangland murders, which has claimed seven lives in 100 days.
Mr Kenny made his admission in the Dáil yesterday after Gareth Hutch was gunned down in Dublin’s North inner city. Mr Hutch was the nephew of Gerard ‘The Monk’ Hutch.
Despite the arrest last night of a 29-year-old man in connection with the killing, there was widespread condemnation of Mr Kenny’s comments, which were seen as an admission of defeat to those gangs responsible for the murders.
During Leaders’ Questions, Mr Kenny condemned the killing but said he personally can do little to stop the spiral of murders.
“This is a vicious and murderous dispute between two families and I do not think I can stop that,” he said.
Speaking last night to the Irish Examiner, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin hit out at Mr Kenny’s comments.
“No government should admit defeat to these criminal gangs and there is an obligation on Government to do everything it possibly can across the board through an inter-agency response to stop it and put an end to it,” he said. “Governments should be clear and determined in the messaging going out to these groups that this will stop.
“What we need is a response like what happened when Veronica Guerin was killed. A multi-agency approach including the use of mini Criminal Asset Bureaus in these areas is what is needed.”
Mr Kenny sought to contain the fallout from his comments, saying the Government will give the gardaí any resources they need to tackle those people responsible.
Last night, a man handed himself into gardaí at Mountjoy station following the murder of Mr Hutch. He was arrested under section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act and can be questioned for seven days.
Gardaí said they can see “no immediate end” to the killing spree by the Kinahan crime cartel, which yesterday carried out its sixth murder, all aimed at the rival Hutch gang.
Gareth Hutch expressed fears to local councillor Nial Ring on Monday that he was “in danger” and said that he did not want to be “shot in front of his son”.
Community groups and politicians have demanded “firm and urgent” action from Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to end the “senseless cycle of violence”.
They called on her to urgently convene a summit of local leaders and state officials to deal with the crisis.
Mr Hutch, aged 35 and a father of a six-year-old boy, was shot dead by two gunmen outside his home at Avondale House flats complex in Dublin’s north inner city at 10am.
Mr Hutch had wanted to move to another flat within the Avondale House complex which would give him more security, said Mr Ring.
Of the seven murders in the feud, six have been at the hands of the Kinahan cartel and one by the Hutch gang.
“There’s no immediate end in sight in this,” said one senior garda. “The Kinahans are not going to give up until they get all of them.
“You can’t predict what form the next attack will take — all you can do is give crime prevention advice and flood the place with gardaí.”
Assistant Commissioner for Dublin Jack Nolan described the murder spree since February as “relentless” and said further Kinahan violence was a fear: “It is certainly a worry. I have no guarantee that something else won’t happen.”
He said the Garda’s appetite for resources was “insatiable” and that there “will never be enough resources at any particular point in time” and that gardaí “cannot be everywhere”.
However, he said the full capability of the force was being brought to bear and results were beginning to show, with one man charged with murder, 13 arrests in total, 17 firearms seized, 3,000 checkpoints, and 1,800 stops of suspects.
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