Ireland’s top police officer has blamed a ‘rush to violence’ for the dramatic increase in the number of murders across the country.

Interim commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan made the remark in light of a rising number of homicides with 60 murders reported in the 12 months to March 2014.

The figure is up 36 per cent year on year but almost all other areas of Irish crime are falling.

Figures show that killings which include manslaughter and dangerous driving are up by 23 per cent.

Speaking to the Irish parliament’s Public Account Committee, the commissioner said the rising number of homicides is not attributable to organized crime.

The Irish Independent reports that she remarked that many of the murders were carried out in familial circumstances.

O’Sullivan told the committee that 67 per cent of the murders had been detected but said their main aim was to prevent murders rather than detect them.

She said: “The rising number of killings is attributable to more propensity to violence, including in the family home.

“I think it’s more a rush to violence, not just deaths, but serious injuries. People are not thinking before they act.

“Certainly I think there is something there to do with responsible behaviour and awareness.”