Stabbings, beatings and cold-blooded shootings make chilling start to 2014

  • Post category:News

The latest gangland killing brings to eight the number of people who have suffered violent deaths in the first 18 days of 2014 — compared to none in the same period last year.


The death rate is now higher than in the first three months of 2013 when there were six violent deaths.

Three of the victims were stabbed, three had been beaten to death and the remaining two were shot dead, execution style.

The killing spree, including one death which gardai describe as the most gruesome they’ve dealt with in years, has made the start of 2014 one of the most violent on record.

The murder of criminals Michael Devoy in Tallaght on Saturday night, and Christy Daly whose body was found in a drain in Co Offaly on January 7, are the result of gangland feuds.

Unfortunately, in modern Ireland the public have grown accustomed to reading about gangsters murdering gangsters.

Such killings have been happening with such frequency since the late 1990s that gangland violence has become the norm, with most cases sharing the same predictable motives.

The boom in the drug trade, especially the sale of cocaine to ‘law-abiding citizens’ during the hedonistic madness of the Celtic Tiger, was at the heart of the upsurge in underworld murders.

In the multimillion-euro narcotics industry the  Glock  automatic became the corporate tool of choice when dealing with disputes over territory or unpaid debts.

But a desensitised public has little sympathy for many of the victims and see them as getting their just rewards: the attitude is they lived by the gun — so what if they die by it?

While the number of gangland murders has dropped from a peak in the mid-Noughties, they are still running into double digits each year.

However, the majority of violent deaths happening in Ireland have nothing to do with organised crime and involve innocent people.

So far this year, six people have suffered horrific deaths as a result of being stabbed or assaulted for no apparent motive.

The unpredictability of such crimes, many of which take place in the heat of an uncontrollable moment of madness or badness, means that legislation or policing pose no deterrent.

Over the past few decades there has been a noticeable increase in the frequency and ferocity of sporadic street violence, mostly by young males.

Gardai  say that in most cases of serious stabbings and assaults they encounter on the streets, the perpetrators were at the time under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both.

Other cases of violent death can be the result of psychiatric illness or domestic violence that have gone out of control.

But the gardai have a high rate of success in solving murders, including gangland killings, which are traditionally the hardest cases of all to crack.

Individuals have been charged in connection with five of the violent deaths since the beginning of the year and gardai are making progress in two others.

Last night, officers were tracing the final movements of career criminal Michael Devoy before he was murdered and his body dumped near Tallaght in Dublin.

But it won’t take long to trace likely suspects because the victim, who was wearing a bullet-proof vest, had plenty of enemies.