By Brian Donnellon
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Gardaí were seen raiding at least six houses in Clondalkin, Tallaght and Crumlin. The main targets of these raids are members of the Kinahan gang which have been running riot around Dublin and southern Spain in their feud with the Hutch gang, which has escalated over the last year to the point where the general public are in harm’s way as attacks escalate and the major players become desperate to gain control over key areas for drug distribution. The feud hit boiling point last September when Gary Hutch was shot dead in Spain. To date, ten people have been murdered because of the feud, and not all have been involved in gangs.
A spokesperson for the Gardaí has stated that they are executing a number of search warrants with the aim of gathering evidence to prosecute the gang leaders. Justice Minister Francis Fitzgerald said this morning “I really want to welcome the excellent cooperation between the Gardai and Spanish authorities,” she said. “I met the Spanish Minister for Justice some weeks ago. Gardai have an unrelenting, a very serious and ongoing persistent focus on interrupting the criminal activities and this cycle of revenge and retaliation that we see with these gangs. I welcome their ongoing work progress.” To see two policing bodies work together like this is a step in the right direction. There is a worrying cycle of gang violence in Dublin since the days of Martin “The General” Cahill’s rise to prominence in the late 70s and throughout the 80s. He is seen by many gang members as a ‘Robin Hood’ figure. After his demise, the feud between Crumlin and Drimnagh gangs in the late 90’s and into the 00’s became more violent and ruthless.
The efforts by Gardaí and Spanish police show an attempt to try new ideas in stopping the violence, and over the past few months, raids have been becoming more frequent on suspected safe houses for the gangs with weapons, cash and drugs being seized. Gardaí believe they have stopped multiple assassination attempts and are showing an undeterred resilience by cracking down on anyone who may be involved in gangs.