Ireland
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Highest number of murders recorded in a decade in the Republic, according to CSO figures

The highest number of murders were recorded in a decade in the Republic, according to new Central Statistic Office figures.

There were 47 murders in the Republic in the 12-month period to the end of June, compared to 24 in the previous corresponding period. Gangland fatal attacks have fallen to unprecedented lows for the modern era and the majority of killings were domestic.

The figures, based on crime data supplied by the Garda, show the number of murders doubled after a lull in killings during the pandemic period, while thefts and robbery-related crimes have also surged.

Women’s Aid has called on the Government to focus on establishing domestic and family violence death reviews to “help us learn lessons to prevent similar violent deaths in the future”, following the release of the statistics.

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The organisation, which maintains statistics on femicide since 1996, compared its statistics with those of the CSO and found that for the same period, between June 2022 to July 2023, 12 women died violently, an increase of four women in the same period the previous year.

“That equals a 50 per cent increase comparing the two periods,” said Women’s Aid chief executive Sarah Benson. She said the new CSO statistics were concerning but it was not possible to pinpoint what was causing an increase in murders.

“It’s not something we can really pinpoint. We’ve been maintaining the femicide report since 1996 and the figures go up and down, there isn’t a marked trend. None of the recent cases have gone to trial yet so we can’t say what the context or cause was,” she added.

The CSO crime trends, based on crime data supplied by the Garda and published on Monday, show frauds have fallen after markedly increasing during the pandemic period, down 37 per cent in the 12 months to the end of June.

Death reviews

Despite significant public discourse around serious assaults, the data shows assaults causing harm — which are at the upper end of the scale — marginally declined, by 1 per cent, during the period. However, other assaults increased by 5 per cent, to 14,238. These are a mix of street assaults and those reported in the context of domestic, and other, settings.

Crime

Source: CSO

Women’s Aid hoped to see domestic and family violence death reviews implemented, which are no-fault studies “designed to help us learn lessons to prevent similar violent deaths in the future”.

“We have them now in the North, and in England, Wales and Scotland, and we would like to see Ireland establish those to develop better safety nets and learn what the warning signs are,” said Ms Benson.

Opposition reaction

Meanwhile, Labour justice spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has called on the Minister for Justice to outline Government’s response to the enormous increase in crime throughout communities.

Community policing was “totally under-resourced” and criminals were “preying on this opportunity”, he said. Trust had “broken down” between frontline gardaí and the Office of the Garda Commissioner, said Mr Ó Ríordáin.

“The Minister must make a statement to the Dáil to outline to communities what this Government is doing to protect them this winter. The increase in community crime, the GRA petition and the criminal barristers’ strike are just the latest in a catalogue of failures by this Government,” he said.

Sinn Féin justice spokesman Pa Daly said the new figures from the CSO “show the importance of getting to grips with crime so that everyone can feel safe and protected. This comes against a backdrop of increasingly difficult conditions for the gardaí including officers feeling overworked, under-resourced and unprotected. In addition, long waits for court cases have left victims feeling abandoned and let down by Government.”

Recruitment and retention of gardaí must be prioritised and the awaited publication of the Garda Reserve regulations must be expedited, added Mr Daly.