Belfast Telegraph

Garda resource cuts ‘will hamper bid to tackle gangland feud’

The warning comes amid concern of a further escalation of violence following the shooting of Derek Hutch.

Efforts to tackle Dublin’s bloody gangland feud will be hampered by cuts to Garda resources, the government has been warned.

Fianna Fail’s Jim O’Callaghan said any reduction in resources will “benefit, and possibly even aid” the activity of feuding crime gangs.

His comments come amid concern of a further escalation of violence following the shooting of Derek Hutch in the city on Saturday.

The 27-year-old father is believed to be the 14th victim of the ongoing Hutch-Kinahan feud.

“Garda resources and overtime must be maintained in order to keep tackling this feud,” the Dublin Bay South TD said.

He added: “The gardai have done an excellent job to date in curtailing the vicious violence of the Kinahan Hutch feud. The main reason for this has been the increased Garda presence on the ground over recent months.”

However, Mr O’Callaghan warned that Garda overtime cuts and a 30% reduction in high-visibility, armed Garda patrols will “significantly reduce” the ability of gardai to continue their fight against organised crime.

“Government needs step up and recognise the fact that any Garda success in de-escalating this gangland feud is dependent upon sufficient resources being allocated to the gardai.

“It is clear that any reduction in these resources will solely benefit, and possibly even aid the activity of the organised criminals who continue to inflict such terror in communities across our capital,” he said.

Gardai are continuing their hunt for the gunman behind Saturday’s attack.

Mr Hutch, a nephew of Gerard “The Monk” Hutch, was shot several times as he sat in a car at Bridgeview halting site in Ronanstown, west Dublin.

Gardai are investigating if Mr Hutch and two associates were in the area to throw a parcel of drugs over a wall at Wheatfield Prison in an organised drugs drop.

It has been reported that Mr Hutch’s brother Nathan Hutch is currently an inmate at the prison.

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