Man shot dead on Lower Sheriff Street

A man in his 30s was shot dead on Lower Sheriff Street in Dublin’s north inner city shortly before 6pm today.

The dead man was later named as Stephen Byrne (32) of Mariners Port, Dublin 2.

He was pronounced dead at the Mater Hospital shortly after the shooting. Gardai have closed off the area.

Fine Gael justice spokesman Alan Shatter claimed that the event shows that Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern has “failed utterly to gain control of Ireland’s gangland.”

“Minister Ahern has failed to take the necessary action to end the ongoing campaign of murder and mayhem being conducted by drug gangs on the streets of Dublin,” said Shatter.

He added: “I deplore the fact that gangland’s lethal campaign has been allowed to continue. Innocent lives continue to be placed at risk, and the number of murderous assaults are escalating at an alarming rate. Fine Gael has called repeatedly for punitive measures to be taken against the drug gangs. It’s time the Minister acted tough and took back control of our streets.”

However, Central Statistics Office statics for quarter one of this year show an increase of just one in the deaths recorded as murder for the country compared to the same time last year, while the homicide for the first quarter of the year was the lowest in six years. Between 2006 and 2009 recorded homicide figures dropped from 138 to 85. The murder rate dropped from 77 to 54 between 2007 and 2009.

Fine Gael’s Dublin based Senator Paschal Donohoe said he condemns the killing on Sheriff Street.

“The circumstances surrounding this death are not yet clear. The loss of every life is a tragedy and my thoughts are with a family somewhere that is receiving terrible news now,” said Donohoe.

“This shooting took place near a primary school and church. The location is a well-known sight of continued and serious anti-social behaviour. It shows the need for a very strong and effective presence from An Garda Siochána to deter such terrible crimes. I hope the authorities can determine the situation around this terrible death and conduct a successful negotiation.”

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