Dáil Éireann - Volume 515 - 07 March, 2000

Written Answers. - Crime Levels.

58. Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of murders reported to the Garda since the beginning of 2000 and the beginning of 1999; the number of these which were regarded as gangland killings; the number of cases in each category in which charges have been brought; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6846/00]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): As the House is aware, indictable crime statistics can be found in the annual reports of An Garda Síochána, copies of which are available in the Oireachtas Library. The most recent annual report details the crime statistics for 1998. While Garda crime statistics for 1999 have not yet been formally published, I am informed by the Garda authorities that provisional statistics for that year indicate that 38 murders were recorded, 31 of which were detected.

Provisional statistics from 1 January 2000 to 3 March 2000 show ten murders, with six detected. These figures are provisional, and subject to change as Garda investigations progress. The annual report of An Garda Síochána will contain the final figures in respect of 1999 when it is published later in the year.

[1509] As the Deputy will appreciate while the term “gangland killing” is widely used by the media, it does not correspond to the manner in which Garda Síochána classify crime. All murders are the subject of exhaustive investigation by the Garda regardless of the circumstances of how they occurred. The Garda cannot rule out the possibility that organised criminal gangs may have been involved in some of these murders.