POSTED ON BEHALF OF : Padraig FreePows
- Gangland-style Killings Exceed Last Year’s Total (fiannaiochta.wordpress.com)
Picture by : Padraig FreePows
MORE people have died in gangland violence in the Republic so far this year than in all of last year. The latest murders of two men in front of their children have been condemned as ” barbaric ” by the justice minister.
Declan O’Reilly (32), of the Crumlin area of Dublin, was walking with his 11-year-old son when he was gunned down at 8 pm on Monday. He was taken to St James’s Hospital but was pronounced dead. Gardai are waiting to speak to the 11-year-old boy about his father’s killing. Less than 12 hours earlier, Gerard Eglington (27) suffered fatal gunshot wounds in front of his 11-year-old stepdaughter and three-year-old son when a gunman entered the family home in Portarlington, Co Laois, and opened fire. While the murders are thought not to be connected by Gardai, have said both men were connected/linked to Dublin’s criminal gangs. Their deaths bring to 12 the number of people to die as a result of gangland violence so far this year, compared to 11 for all of last year. Justice minister Alan Shatter yesterday said the ” barbaric ” killings illustrated that the ” evil perpetrators have absolutely no respect for human life “. ” The callousness of their actions shows that the perpetrators lack even a shred of humanity or decency,” he said.
Mr Shatter said gardai were ” absolutely determined ” to do everything possible to bring those responsible to justice and that the force was continuing to ” target and bear down heavily on the activities of those involved in gangland crime “. Deputy Garda Commissioner Nacie Rice condemned the murders as ” acts of depravity “. He said that ” right-thinking ” people were ” absolutely appalled at the viciousness and cruelty ” of the attacks. ” You condemn murder but when somebody shoots a person in cold blood in front of an 11-year-old child it is an act of depravity,” he said. Mr Rice said that over the past two years, gardai had been able to keep a ” cap ” on gang-related killings in the state but that there had been a recent ” spike ” in the figures. Earlier this month senior Real IRA member Alan Ryan was shot dead in a gangland-style attack in the Clongriffin area of North Dublin. Gardai have said they believe drug gangs targeted him because he was involved in an extortion racket in the city. They fear that the murder will lead to further clashes between republican dissidents and criminals in Dublin, particularly after the Real IRA issued a statement vowing to seek revenge for the murder.
WITH MANY THANKS TO : SOUTHERN CORRESPONDENT, VALERIE ROBINSON, IRISH NEWS.
AN ALLEGED prominent member of dissident group Republican Action Against Drugs ( RAAD ) must remain in custody, a judge has ruled.Mr Justice McCloskey refused bail to Liam Martin McDonnell after being told that blank-firing revolvers and four replica AK47 rifles were seized during searches of his home in Derry.
One of the weapons, recovered on July 12, was adapted to fire ball-bearings consistent with RAAD’s method of so-called punishment shootings, prosecutors said. McDonnell (26), of Rinmore Drive in the city, is charged with possessing a firearm with intent and possession of articles for use in terrorism. Camouflage jackets, balaclavas, a military-style uniform, mobile phones, a two-way radio and a criminal investigation file were also recovered during the search. The accused handed himself in to police last week, providing a prepared statement to say that all the items found in the house belonged to him. He claimed to be a collector of clothing associated with outdoor activities and to have frequently loaned or given them away at Halloweenor to others around the estate. McDonnell said he collected replica guns as a hobby, stressing that he never used them for illegal purposes. He also denies involvement with any illegal organisations, the court heard.
However, opposing his bail application, a prosecution barrister said : ” Police beleive he is an active and prominent member of Republican Action Against Drugs. ” She set out how, between September 2008 and May this year the organisation had been involved in 73 incidents in the city, Strabane and Co Donegal. These include 30 shootings and one murder. ” Police believe because of his involvement with these people there is a fear of further offences,” the barrister said. ” RAAD uses intimidation methods to assault and control members of the community. ” It’s commonly reported that parents produce their children to these people in order to be shot.” A defence lawyer said the allegations were ” hotly disputed “. He said McDonnell was not charged with membership of any outlawed grouping and had surrendered to custody. However, Mr Justice McCloskey focused on the alleged link between McDonnell and RAAD. He described the activeites of those involved with the organisation as ” horrifying and frankly shocking “. ” Those who work in and for and who associate themselves with the self-styled RAAD trade in certain commodities,” the judge said. ” Those are the commodities of naked intimidation, terror, threats, brutal assaults and conduct of this kind.” Refusing bail, he held that the link between McDonnell and RAAD was, for now, sustained. ” The court would not be acting in the real world if it were to form any other view at this stage,” he said.
WITH MANY THANKS TO : IRISH NEWS.
A MAN wanted for questioning in connection with a major operation targeting a republican vigilante group has turned himself in to police in Derry.
The man, in his twenties, was arrested yesterday morning when he presented himself to police along with his solicitor. He was being questioned last night at Antrim serious crime suite. The arrest is linked to the police operation targeting vigilante group Republican Action Against Drugs in the Creggan area of Derry on July 12 when a number of suspect firearms were uncovered.
A political row erupted when police also searched the home of Sinn Fein mayor of Derry, Kevin Campbell as part of the operation. Police from Belfast, who carried out the search, removed two laptop computers and mobile phones from Mr Campbell’s home. Police said they searched the house because they saw two men running near Mr Campbell’s home on the night of the operation. All seized material has since been returned to the mayor.
WITH MANY THANKS TO : SEAMUS McKINNEY, IRISH NEWS.
A DISSIDENT Republican faction terrorising nationalist areas of Derry is gearing up to kill Police officers, the chairman of the Police Federation has said. Republican Action Against Drugs ( RAAD ) has been blamed by a senior PSNI commanders of attempted murder after a Blast bomb was hurled at a Police vehicle in the city recently.
Federation chairman Terry Spencetold the annual conference of the organisation, which represents rank-and-file officers, that RAAD had created an extortion racket out of so-called punishment beatings. More than 200 young men have been forced to leave the Derry area by such gangs. ” Now the RAAD gang have gone further and unashamedly exposed themselves as determined to murder police officers,” Mr Spence said. ” Their social interest in drug crime has been an utter sham and a profile-building exercise for mounting terrorist attacks.”
On June 2nd a device was thrown at a police vehicle while officers were conducting searches in the Creggan area of the city. The vehicle was damaged but there were no injuries. Mr Spence said RAAD should be proscribed as an organisation and the UVF should be respecified as the ” active terrorists ” the loyalists are. ” Neither the UVF nor the RAAD are acting in the interest of the community,” he said. ” They are tawdry groupings of vicious thugs, pumped up with self-importance, determined to exercise control of local communities through fear.
” A downward destructive spiral of despair is being created because of the public’s lack of confidence in their safety if they help the police. ” There has also been the hint that if some of the victims had been more robustly dealt with by the courts in the first place, perhaps there would be less community support for such barbaric punishments.” Mr Spence said sentences handed down last month to the Continuity IRA murderers of Constable Stephen Carroll sent out the wrong message. The 14-year minimum tariff given to John Paul Wootton was referred to the Court of Appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions. This came hours after the judge in Constable Carroll’s murder trail Lord Justice Girvan” said he would back a review of the sentencing guidelines that he was obliged to follow.
The officer’s widow , Kate Carroll, had hit out after Wootton (21), who drove the getaway car, was sentenced by Lord Justice Paul Girvan. The term was 11 years less than that handed to Brendan McConville (41), also convicted of the killing and whose coat may have been wrapped around the murder weapon. Stormont justice minister David Ford said he was saddened and shocked to read about a mother who allowed her son to be assaulted by a paramilitary gang because if she had not, the consequences would have been worse.
WITH MANY THANKS TO : MICHAEL McHUGH, IRISH NEWS.