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Ó Snodaigh to challenge McDowell in Dáil over recent spate of killings

14 December, 2006

Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD will use a private notice question to confront the Minister for Justice Michael McDowell in the Dáil today over the recent spate of violent deaths. Deputy Ó Snodaigh will ask the Minister to explain his strategy to halt the killings and the action he will take to assure the safety of local communities from harm over the Christmas period. Deputy Ó Snodaigh is raising this issue with the Minister today after another man was killed last night bringing the total to five in the last six days.

Speaking before Dáil business today he said, "The recent spate of killings has left many communities in a state of shock and fear. Minister McDowell must explain to the public his immediate and longer term strategy to bring a halt to these killings. He must also tell us what steps are currently being taken to bring those responsible to justice and to assure the safety of local communities from harm and from fear over the Christmas period.

"I will put these questions to McDowell in the Dáil today. I will also ask him to undertake to comprehensively review his approach to drug-related crime and in particular the relationship between informers and Garda operations including whether drug barons are allowed to continue operating in exchange for information, and the basis on which such decisions are made.

"There have been twenty-four gun murders in the state so far this year. Each one of these is evidence that Operations Oak and Anvil are failing local communities. The five killings in the last six days highlight the urgent need for the government, the Minister for Justice and the Gardaí to comprehensively review, revise and update their approach to drug-related crime as I called for yesterday after the killings in Finglas." ENDS

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