Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 25, 2006
Archbishop bemoans rampant violence
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Our streets are witness to a growing culture of violence, fed by "the terrible plague of drug abuse" and the illegal drug trade, said a leading Irish archbishop, reacting to a series of killings in the country.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said recent drug-related gangland murders in the Irish capital "are a terrible reminder of a culture of violence that is beginning to devastate areas of the city."
Shot in the heart
The archbishop's remarks came one day after Gerard "Batt" Byrne, a person suspected of being connected to organized crime in Dublin, was killed execution style in the heart of the city's bustling International Financial Services Centre.
Byrne took six shots to his head and chest by a man wearing a balaclava over his head, as television cameras captured the evening killing and the killer calming walking to a waiting getaway car.
The 25-year-old Byrne was the sixth person to be killed in Ireland in six days and the 24th shot to death this year. It came on the heels of the killing last week of Anthony Campbell, a 20-year-old apprentice plumber who was working in the house of a suspected top drug dealer, Martin Hyland, who was also shot dead.
"The violence we have witnessed cannot be justified or tolerated whether the victims are known to be innocent or suspected of involvement in criminal activities," said the archbishop.
Martin tied "the terrible shootings and beatings that make the news" directly to illegal drug usage. He said he hears from priests "in many parishes" about how the drug trade in Dublin is "destroying lives every day. There is the daily reality of young lives being wasted and families and communities being ripped apart by the terrible plague of drug abuse."
(© Catholic Online 2006, www.catholic.org)