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Assistant commissioner: 'We won't be resting on our laurels' after Freddie Thompson guilty verdict

Thompson is the latest to be convicted of murder in relation to the ongoing gang feud.
Aug 31st 2018, 10:23 AM 18,057 13

A SENIOR GARDA has said that An Garda Síochána won’t be “resting on its laurels” in its efforts to thwart gangland crime following the guilty verdict given against Freddie Thompson yesterday. 

The 37-year-old Thompson, with an address at Loreto Road, Maryland in Dublin, was found guilty by three judges at the Special Criminal Court of the murder of David Douglas on 1 July 2016.

Assistant commissioner John O’Driscoll, with responsibility for special crime operations, told RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland that while the conviction was a welcome one from the gardaí’s perspective, work continues to bring others involved in Douglas’ murder to justice.

“It was just one of a number of unfortunate incidents where people were murdered by criminal gangs involved in the feud,” he said. “Fortunately, we have intervened successfully in excess of 50 cases where there was threat to life.”

O’Driscoll said the conviction of Thompson in relation to gangland killing was one of a number of other recent convictions connected to the Hutch-Kinahan feud.

He said: “We had a conviction of James Quinn in Spain in June in relation to the murder of Gary Hutch. There was a conviction in January related to the murder of Michael Barr at Sunset House

We’ve had convictions in relation to the seizing of firearms in Green Oak. We’re now in a phase of achieving convictions in the many interventions we’ve made, where the investigations of murder have come to a successful conclusion.

When queried about the case against Thompson being reliant largely on circumstantial evidence, the assistant commissioner said that it wasn’t necessary for a case like this that features a lot of circumstantial evidence to be heard at the Special Criminal Court.

“Clearly, it was the extent of the evidence, and I sat through some of it, there were literally hours upon hours of CCTV,” he said. “There was a huge case built up by detectives at Kevin Street and Kilmainham.”

In this case we may not have convicted the person whom it may be alleged fired the shot, so to speak, but that also follows on from a conviction in Spain on 21 June where the Spanish authorities achieved a conviction in relation to James Quinn.

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Further work would be done now by An Garda Síochána, he said, to intervene when a person’s life was threatened, continue seizing illegal drugs and discover firearms that gangs are using.

“There’s a determination on our part to dismantle all the criminal gangs involved, and we’re in for the long haul,” O’Driscoll said. “This is a phase of success, but we won’t be resting on our laurels.”

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