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O’Brien calls on Minister and Gardaí to immediately address issue of 1,550 stolen firearms

23 February, 2012 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD


Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien today called on the Minister for Justice to immediately address the high numbers of stolen firearms in the state in the wake of multiple shootings during the last fortnight. Deputy O’Brien made his comments after asking the Minister for Justice the number of firearms stolen and recovered during each of the last five years.

The Cork-North Central TD said;

“According to information that the Minister for Justice supplied to me 1,550 firearms were stolen during the period of 2007-2011. Of these 619 were recovered by the Gardaí – leaving a total 931 stolen firearms that were never recovered. This is an astonishingly high figure. During 2011 alone, 306 firearms were stolen 175 of which were never recovered. The increasing rate of gun crime and shootings in this state is staggering, and yet the Minister for Justice sees fit to close rural Garda stations and cut-back on hours in other Garda stations.

“We have seen multiple shootings over the last fortnight and yet the Minister and Garda Commissioner are doing little about it. Each incident of gun crime attracts large amounts of media attention and these violent crimes are causing real fear and anxiety to communities. People have a right to feel safe in their communities and it is clear from the level of stolen firearms and high levels of gun crime that a new approach to policing is needed in this state.

“Increasing gun crime must be tackled head on with all available resources. The Government must expedite a robust process of civilianisation of as many administrative and other appropriate tasks as possible in order to free-up fully trained Gardaí to fight serious drug and gun crime. The present situation must not be allowed to continue”

ENDS

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