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Ó Snodaigh calls for comprehensive review of approach to drug-related crime

13 December, 2006

Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called on the Government, the Minister for Justice and the Gardaí to review, revise and update their approach to drug-related crime. He said this review should address the many questions that arise regarding the murder of a major drug dealer in Finglas yesterday. Deputy Ó Snodaigh went on to send his condolences and those of the Sinn Féin party to the family and friends of Anthony Campbell, the young apprentice plumber murdered in Finglas yesterday.

He said, "Twenty-four months ago the Minister for Justice Michael McDowell said that we had witnessed the last sting in the tail of a dying wasp. Clearly the Minister has no grasp of the situation. The twenty-three gun murders in the state this year are evidence that Operations Anvil and Oak are failing communities in this city. The killings in Finglas yesterday highlight the urgent need for the government, the Minister for Justice and the Gardaí to comprehensively review, revise and update its approach to drug-related crime. There are many questions that arise regarding the killing of Martin Hyland yesterday and these must be addressed in this comprehensive review.

"How did Hyland become such a successful crime lord for such a sustained period? How did this thug become so powerful and survive so long given the amount of Garda resources apparently devoted to bringing him down? And, when communities mobilised against criminals such as Hyland, why did the Gardaí and government of the day demonise those communities? These are some of the most pertinent questions requiring answers.

"There needs to be an examination of whether drug barons are being protected and allowed to operation in exchange for information.

"The priority focus in the medium to longer term for the Gardaí must be to do whatever it takes to win the support, trust and co-operation of communities. The Minister must take steps to ensure that community policing is duly prioritised.

"I also want to strongly condemn the tragic murder of the innocent bystander Anthony Campbell, a young apprentice plumber going about his work. My deepest condolences and those of the Sinn Féin party go out to his family and friends." ENDS

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