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Fourteen attempted assassinations thwarted by gardaí in 2019

The figures were contained in the force’s latest annual report.

Image: Niall Carson/PA

GARDAÍ PREVENTED 14 attempted assassinations and seized over €21 million worth of drugs last year, according to new figures contained in the force’s annual report for 2019.

Approximately €21,335,211 worth of drugs were seized by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau in 2019, as well as 18 firearms and over €2.5 million in cash.

The seizures came as the force grew to its largest-ever personnel size, with 14,307 Garda members among a total of 17,709 people who worked for An Garda Síochána last year. 

The report says 2019 was a year of progress for gardaí, when there was “significant investment by Government” and changes to policing under ‘A Policing Service for our Future’.

A new model with larger divisions and more resources was also introduced last year, with the aim of delivering increased visibility in communities, more local police services and a stronger focus on community policing.

Public trust was surveyed at its highest level in five years during 2019, with the Public Attitudes Survey showing 92% trust among the public in gardaí in the third quarter of the year.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said the report showed that the dedication of the force in keeping people safe last year.

“The results of this can be seen in the 2019 Garda Public Attitudes Survey,” he said.

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“It found high levels of satisfaction with the service we provide and public trust of over 90 per cent.

“An Garda Síochána’s role in securing the State during the year was also evident from major seizures of weaponary that degraded the capability of dissident groups, convictions for terrorism offences, and large-scale preparations for potential terrorist incidents.”

Justice Minister Helen McEntee welcomed the findings contained in the report, as well as the Garda’s rollout of its new policing model last year.

“Reform can be difficult. However, implementation of the programme is not just in the best interests of the public, but also in the best interests of An Garda Síochána itself and of each and every individual who serves in it, and will ensure the delivery of a service which is modern, efficient, effective and fit for purpose,” she added.

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