94. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of killings attributed to criminal gangland activity in the past ten years to date in 2016; the degree to which the perpetrators have been apprehended, charged and punished; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40772/16]
Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I am, of course, deeply concerned about the incidence of gun murders and I deplore all such killings. All killings, regardless of the circumstances involved, are the subject of rigorous investigation by An Garda Síochána and will continue to be so.
An Garda Síochána continues to develop and implement operations and strategies aimed at targeting, dismantling and disrupting criminal networks, utilising advanced analytical and intelligence methodologies. Multi-disciplinary approaches are employed, including by National Units within An Garda Síochána and with other agencies, to ensure that the activities of individuals and groups involved in criminal activities are effectively targeted, including through the use of legislation on the proceeds of crime and money-laundering, as well as the powers of the Criminal Assets Bureau.
Yesterday, I was present at the launch of the new dedicated Armed Support Unit (ASU) for Dublin, which is an important element in our response to violent criminal gangs. The new Unit has been established following completion of the necessary specialised training and preparation of equipment. While full armed support was already being provided on an overtime basis, I am very pleased that the new ASU is now fully operational.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that, as of 6 December 2016, there were 14 gang-related killings during 2016. There have been 44 arrests with 5 persons charged in connection with those murders and a further 3 persons charged with related offences. I am further informed that in the previous ten (10) years, [2006-2015] there were 127 murders which are considered to be linked to organised crime or dissident groups, 25 of which have been detected, with 28 criminal proceedings resulting from same.