Gardáí 'foiled 52 gangland murders' since the Regency shooting

Dozens of guns, thousands of bullets and millions in drugs and cash have been siezed

Gardáí 'foiled 52 gangland murders' since the Regency shooting

File photo of Garda Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll, 23-01-2017. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews

Gardaí are claiming to have foiled 52 gangland murders since the Regency Shooting.

Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll told Newstalk that dozens of guns, thousands of bullets and millions in drugs and cash have been seized since the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) was established.

Speaking exclusively to Newstalk’s Paul Williams, Assistant Commissioner O'Driscoll said the force is making real progress in its crackdown on gangland crime.

It has now been over two years since the ongoing gangland feud in Dublin exploded onto the national agenda with the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel.

Threat to life

Assistant Commissioner O'Driscoll said officers have foiled a host of attempted murders in the years since.

“What we are talking about here is in the gangland scenario – 52 threats to life,” he said.

“In some cases, we have actually arrested people as they were fully armed, wearing balaclavas and in close proximity to where they intended to commit a murder.

“This is what we will allege in a number of the cases where people are before the courts at the moment.”

“Of course these people stand innocent until we can prove what we allege – but these are the circumstances of the arrests that we have made.”

Firearms

He said gardaí have seized, “eight machine guns, 47 handguns, seven shotguns, seven assault rifles and two ordinary rifles since the establishment of the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.”

“The circumstances of the finding of these weapons – where they were about to be used – is what is significant,” he said.

“People arrested using or about to use those firearms we will allege.

“If we had found those in a bunker, they wouldn’t be as significant.

He said the GNDOCB alone has been involved in seizing some €5.8m in alleged proceeds of crime in recent times.

Feud

Assistant Commissioner O'Driscoll said it is impossible to predict how long the ongoing gang feud in Dublin will go on, but insisted, “what we can predict is, our efforts will be unrelenting.”

“As long as organised crime gangs will target people trying to murder them, we will be there as close as we can behind them,” he said.

“All we can say is that we believe that our recent successes and the fact that we believe we have the capacity to achieve those successes in to the future will eventually have such an impact on the organised crime gangs involve that they will desist.

“There are only so many people who are willing to murder and we have arrested significant number of those people.”

You can listen back to Assistant Commissioner O'Driscoll's interview with Paul Williams here: