Irish PM vows to tackle gang crimes in Dublin
DUBLIN, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Wednesday vowed to tackle gang crimes after a string of recent shooting incidents had gripped the country's capital Dublin with fear and anger.
In response to a local media question about a last night gang-related shooting incident in Dublin, which claimed one life, the prime minister condemned the killing and said that he knows the area of the incident very well and people of the community do not deserve to see this violence.
He also said that police are following a line of inquiry and the concerned authorities have received European support in tackling criminal gangs.
This is the first comment made by the Irish prime minister after a series of shooting incidents happened in Dublin over the last ten days, leaving at least two people killed and a number of others injured.
In the afternoon of Jan. 20, unknown gunmen opened fire at a man sitting in a car at the western part of the city, leaving the man killed right on the spot and two others with him seriously wounded. The gunmen fled the scene in a car which was later found burned out in a nearby industrial estate.
A week later, on the night of last Friday, another shooting incident took place near the National Stadium in the southern part of downtown Dublin, in which a man in his 40s reportedly with connection to a gang group was chased by a gunman wearing a ski mask and shot in the foot.
A British student in his 20s was caught in the crossfire and shot in the wrist. The gunman escaped in a car with the assistance of another man who was also wearing a ski mask. The firing caused a panic among people attending a boxing tournament in the stadium.
Late last night, the third firing incident occurred inside a flat complex in the northern part of the city, in which a 27-year-old man also reportedly with gangland background was shot six times in the chest and stomach. The victim was pronounced dead shortly after he was rushed to a nearby hospital. Eyewitnesses told police that the gunman dressed in dark clothing fled the scene on foot after the attack.
Local police said that all the afore-said shooting incidents are related to a feud between criminal gang groups. So far none of the perpetrators involved in the three attacks have been brought to justice.
This has led to the criticism of the government by the public as well as opposition parties.
Darragh O'Briend, a member of the country's lower house from the major opposition party Fianna Fail, accused the government of failing to properly tackle the problem of gangs in the city. He said it is clear that the current response, including the establishment of a task force, are not working.
"A political response is lacking and it's needed... we can do something about it, if the resources are behind it and if the guards are given the powers and the resources to deal with it, we can put a stop to these brutal murders," he told local media.