Irish police praised for 'good day's work' as robbers shot dead  

Three violent deaths in the past two days have highlighted the fact that a gun culture has permeated the Irish Republic's criminal and drug underworld.

A suspected drug dealer was killed in front of his family in Dublin early yesterday, just a day after undercover police shot dead two men during a post office robbery near the city.

Armed robberies and gun deaths have risen in recent years as criminal gangs, often involved in the drug trade, routinely resort to the use of weapons in their activities.

The raiders at a post office in the village of Lusk, north of Dublin, included a gunman with a rapid-fire semi-automatic weapon.

Although some have questioned whether the police were justified in killing two men, the public reaction has in general been one of congratulation rather than concern.

The Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern strongly defended the police, who are known as the Garda. He declared: "The Garda are out there doing a very difficult job against people who are firing shots and shooting people in various locations.

"When the Garda respond, I hope people don't get weak-kneed."

The tough official response follows public and political concern about the rising tide of violent crime which has seen a number of murders this month.

In yesterday's incident a man known locally as a drug dealer was shot dead at his home in the Clondalkin area of Dublin by a man armed with a shotgun.

Earlier this month, a man serving a prison sentence for drugs and other offences was shot dead in the street 10 minutes after his release from Dublin's Mountjoy jail. Many of those killed are regarded as criminals falling foul of associates or competitors, and their murders tend to arouse little public sympathy. But the perception of worsening lawlessness has posed major problems for the authorities.

Their response has been to launch a series of special Garda operations aimed at the criminal gangs, with more than €6m (£4m) allocated to cover additional police overtime.

Last month, 300 police took part in raids on more than 60 houses and apartments in the Dublin area in a search for the proceeds of recent robberies, including a major Securicor heist.

The Lusk incident was part of Operation Discovery, aimed at combating armed robberies of premises and cash in transit.

The police have unofficially explained that they knew an armed robbery was to take place, but were taken by surprise when the raiders did not come in through the front door of the post office.

One of those killed, 33-year-old Colm Griffin, had been to jail several times and had agreed to an official demand to pay several hundred thousand euros which the authorities believed he had raised through drug-dealing and robberies.

Coincidentally, the Irish Justice Minister, Michael McDowell and the Garda Commissioner, Noel Conroy, are on a fact-finding trip to the United States, studying how American cities deal with serious crime.

The Dublin Irish Independent described the Lusk incident as a victory for the public and a triumph for the Gardai. The newspaper declared: "An attempted armed robbery was foiled by the Gardai. By any standards that is a good day's work."

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
people'I hated him during those times'
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Furyon London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam