According to a recent study, Dublin has the highest rate of gun murder in Europe. The rate is almost as high as some cities in the U.S. like Washington D.C.
So far this year, 19 gun murders, all of which were gang related, have occurred in Ireland’s capital city, which has a population of 1.2 million.
The study, published by Ireland’s Sunday Tribune, reveals that the murder rate is ridiculously high compared to rates in Britain. In Glasgow, Scotland, population 2.3 million, there have been zero gun killings in 2009. Meanwhile, just one murder has occurred in Edinburgh, where one million people reside.
Shockingly, Dublin has almost twice the amount of gun murders as London, even though the English capital’s population is almost six times higher at 7.7 million. 11 people have been shot dead in London so far this year.
The Sunday Tribune points out that Britain has more effectively tackled gun and gang issues, with police groups launching a Tackling Gangs Action Program.
A spokeswoman told the paper: “It has been a huge success. Essentially, it has targeted gang-related firearm offenses. Here at Merseyside police, we've had a separate initiative targeting guns and gangs since 2005. We've seen a 37 percent decrease in gun crime since.”
Other European cities do not have nearly the amount of gun murders as Dublin has. In Amsterdam, where there are serious gang problems, there have been nine fatal shootings among its similar sized population of 1.3 million.
In Zurich, Switzerland there have been five murders within its population of the same number. Dublin’s gun murder rate is 100 percent higher than Zurich’s.
Gardai (Irish police) told the Tribune they are surprised at these figures, but say they expect the gang murder rate to drop now that new legislation allows suspected gang members to be arrested and tried before Ireland’s Special Criminal Court.
Fine Gael and the Labor Party spokespeople say the figures are “frightening,” and shows that Irish authorities are not dealing effectively with organized crime in the capital.
"The number of gun murders this year in Dublin is frightening,” said Fine Gael justice spokesperson Charlie Flanagan. “There is no sign that the authorities are getting to grips with Dublin's criminal underworld.”
The Labor party's justice spokesperson Pat Rabbitte told the Tribune: "Dublin used not to be out of kilter in terms of gun murder rates compared to other European cities. The gangland feuding and the lucrative drugs business has led to this situation.
“These criminals are ruthless; they would shoot one of their rivals or a member of their own gang at the drop of a hat if they crossed them. Human life counts for nothing with these guys.
“It's an extremely difficult and demanding job for An Garda Síochána and they need to be properly equipped with resources to deal with these gang members."