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'Forget about the bling, this is an operation for losers': Justice Minister warns of gangland crime dangers

Charlie Flanagan urged the community to work with the gardaí to tackle crime during a visit to Coolock in north Dublin this morning.

Image: Leah Farrell

THE MINISTER FOR Justice Charlie Flanagan has issued a strong warning to young people who may be attracted to getting involved in organised crime, labelling drug dealers “losers” and saying that any “bling” accrued through illegal means will be short-lived.

The minister made the comments during a visit to Coolock Garda Station in north Dublin today which comes amidst a spate of gang-related killings in the area in recent weeks

“There is no future in organised crime or drugs or the associated bling that that brings. These are losers,” he said.

The minister acknowledged that there is a “considerable amount of work” to be undertaken across a range of government agencies to tackle organised crime in the area.

He said Coolock is a law-abiding community but a small number of young males in the locality are “acting in a way that’s totally unacceptable”.

The minister had little to say about Archbishop Diarmuid Martin’s comments that drug cartels will be prevented from exploiting funerals to flaunt their wealth, saying only that the archbishop “organises funerals according to the rites of his church”.

He then reiterated his warning to people seeking to get involved in gangland activity:

Forget about the bling, this is an operation for losers and they will be brought to justice.

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When asked by reporters about the number of people involved in organised crime in Coolock the minister said that there’s “less than 100 people” involved however there are connections with other areas including Drogheda, north-west and inner-city Dublin.

He appealed to the community to work with the gardaí to ensure that law breakers are brought to justice and said that every effort is being made to combat the recent outbreak of violence.

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Ceimin Burke

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