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Gangland crime continues despite McDowell’s gimmicks

15 March, 2007


Responding to the latest gangland killing in Dublin last night and to the publishing of the Criminal Justice Bill 2007 today Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said Michael McDowell is continuing along his usual route of proposing gimmicks that are unnecessary and destined to failure and communities will have an opportunity to judge his record on gangland crime in the elections in the summer.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "The mammoth Criminal Justice Act 2006 was rushed through and enacted last July by the Minister and at that time he claimed the purpose of many of the additional provisions inserted into it at a late stage were to address gangland crime. I argued at the time that the Minister was taking the wrong approach. I told him that an increased fear of detection was required not more legislative gimmicks.

"Unfortunately gangland crime is now at an all time high and yesterday evening there was yet another killing, in gangland execution style, of a young man in Clondalkin. What is the Minister's response? Again his approach is simply to publish legislation because publishing legislation is simple and makes headlines. Restructuring and retargeting Garda resources and ensuring that the Criminal Assets Bureau prioritise chasing drug barons would take a greater sustained effort but it would pay off for communities because it would be more effective.

"McDowell is continuing along his usual route of proposing gimmicks that are unnecessary and destined to failure. Communities will look at McDowell's record on gangland crime and they won't expect too much from his latest well publicised legislative initiative. However, they will have an opportunity to judge his record on gangland crime in the elections during the summer.

"Today's new Criminal Justice Bill 2007 will not work because just like last years legislation it is full of gimmicks that are either unnecessary e.g. longer hours of Garda detention without charge, or are proven failures, e.g. mandatory sentencing. What we need is to increase the fear of detection, strip away the profits of gangland crime and invest in intervention programmes for children who may be at risk of involvement when they get a little older." ENDS

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