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Thursday, 16th January 2020

A town in shock – the rule of law must be supported

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Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan (centre) with Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey (left) and Superintendent Anrew Watters at last night's media briefing in Drogheda Garda Station. Photo: Andy Spearman.

The good people of Drogheda are in shock. We are living through difficult, dangerous and tragic times but unless we support the forces of law and order we are staring at chaos and anarchy, we are literally at the edge of the abyss.

The so-called organised crime factions have brought us to a very low ebb. The unprecedented level of sadistic violence perpetrated against 17-year-old Keane Mulready-Woods is almost too much for the human mind to contemplate.

It must rank as one of the most bestial and horrific slayings in the history of the state and no stone can be left unturned in the efforts to track down the sadistic monsters who perpetrated this cruellest of all acts.

This and other heinous crimes call for the strongest possible response but unfortunately we do not have political leadership that is strong enough to make the difficult decisions and take extraordinary actions.

Local Gardaí are adamant that they have sufficient personnel and fire-power to contain the situation but, they would say that wouldn’t they? They’re public servants after all and they must work with the resources they are given by the state.

These are extraordinary times and that calls for extraordinary measures. Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan and his team at Drogheda Garda station are working around the clock to counter this attack on our behalf but, even with the assistance of the Armed Unit and other sections of the Garda force, the criminality continues.

They urgently need reinforcements. But we as a community have been saying that for years.

At a press briefing at Drogheda Garda station last night Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, John Twomey said:

“An Garda Síochána is determined to bring those behind this shocking crime to justice.

"In recent years An Garda Síochána has made significant progress in tackling organised crime through arrests leading to convictions and major seizures of guns, drugs and cash.

"This focus will continue. As always, the help and support of communities is vital to this."

Let’s repeat that last sentence: “As always, the help and support of communities is vital to this." The Garda cannot function without information from the public. There is no shame in providing them with the information they need to solve this dreadful problem in our society.

Anyone who has any vestige of humanity and knows anything that might be useful to the Gardaí in tackling organised crime has a duty to let the Gardaí know.

Sadly though, there are people who have lost trust in the Garda Siochana but there are numbers that can be called in confidence and without giving a name.

You can contact Drogheda Garda Station on 041 9874200, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or Crime Stoppers 1800 250 025.

The alternatives just don’t bear thinking about. As more than one person has said in the last day or two, enough is enough.

Today our hearts go out to Keane’s family, nobody can imagine the pain they are going through.

Now is a time for grieving and reflection but further down the line we as a community must find answers to the difficult questions about why there are so many disaffected and marginalised young people in our midst and why we as a country spend more on policing problems than we do on preventing them.

This article was written by Andy Spearman

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