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Sunday 3 December 2023 Dublin: 1°C
Sam Boal/ An armed Garda on the streets of Dublin in February of this year in the wake of the gangland killings of David Byrne and Eddie Hutch.

Gardaí say they have foiled as many as 11 assassination attempts in recent months

Assistant Commissioner Michael O’Sullivan said the force had more than enough resources to tackle crime.

THE ASSISTANT GARDA Commissioner has said that the force has foiled up to 11 assassination attempts over the past number of months.

Speaking this morning on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Michael O’Sullivan said that the gardaí were doing everything in their power to disrupt the feud between two Irish crime gangs.

The feud between the Hutch and Kinahan crime gangs has resulted in at least eight deaths since it started almost a year ago with the shooting of Gary Hutch in Spain.

O’Sullivan said this morning that Garda operations to tackle the shootings were “very labour intensive” and that the force was grateful for the extra funding that has been given to it recently by government.

“The money has been used in a very proactive policing manner,” said O’Sullivan.

“In the last number of months we have certainly foiled… probably as high as 10 or 11 assassination attempts.

Only in the last two weeks we’ve seized a car with false number plates and firearms in it ready to be used to shoot a particular individual.

O’Sullivan also mentioned the recent seizing of a submachine gun by gardaí.

“Definitely lives are being saved,” he said.

“The only thing that criminals understand is police pro-active enforcement. We’ve a very strong enforcement strategy, it has yielded huge results.

We have 10, 11 murder investigations going at the moment, we’ve several other shooting investigations as well as other serious offences among a broad range of areas.


Gardaí have come under increased pressure to respond to the spate of shootings that kicked off with the murder of Gary Hutch last year.

That shooting was followed by the killing of David Byrne in the Regency Hotel in north Dublin in February of this year.

5/2/2016. Regency Hotel Shootings Crime Scenes The Regency Hotel shooting scene in February.

Since then there have been a number of killings of Hutch family members and associates, particularly in the north inner city of Dublin.

Most recently, Dublin City Council worker Trevor O’Neill was shot dead last week as he was holidaying in Spain with his family, in what is believed to have been a case of mistaken identity.

A figure affiliated with the Hutch family is believed to have been the intended target.

O’Sullivan said that gardaí were “operating from a very low base” in terms of what funding was available to them, but that he felt they were having success in the way they were tackling the gangs.

“Every so often An Garda Síochána are faced with serious challenges,” he said.

He said that the forces had been given sufficient funding to carry out the operations needed to tackle crime.

“There’s no shortage of funding, there’s certainly no shortage of resources, and there’s no shortage of effort on behalf of An Garda Síochána,” he said.

We’re making very good progress.

He said that criminal gangs based abroad (as in the case of the Kinahan crime gang) made it more difficult for gardaí, but that the force was getting results.

When criminals are based abroad it makes it more complex… It’s certainly not impossible,” he said.

Any assistance or intelligence that [the Spanish police] need, we’re available.

Read: Gardaí have seized cocaine and a submachine gun in the Dublin suburb of Castleknock

Read: ‘Brutal and appalling’: Murder of Irishman in Majorca condemned

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