THE perpetrators of yesterday’s gangland style execution in Portarlington need to be caught and brought to justice.
That’s according to Fine Gael Deputy Charlie Flanagan. “I urge members of the local community to be vigilant and report any information they may have to the Gardaí. These people are not wanted in Laois and they are not wanted in the area.”
Deputy Flanagan described the incident as quite shocking and that it brought home to the people of Laois that gangland criminality is no longer a Dublin phenomena.
He added, “I understand that the Garda serious crime unit are in the town of Portarlington investigating and I urge anyone in the area that saw anything to make it known to the Gardaí.”
Meanwhile, Sinn Féin Deputy Brian Stanley said local people were concerned and appalled that a man would be shot in broad daylight in front of his two children. “There has been a certain amount of gangland acitivity around Portarlington in recent years and this is a very serious escalation.”
Deputy Stanley said public safety was a priority and he suggested that the Garda presence in the town wasn’t adequate relative to the population boom it has experienced. “Public safety is an issue and while Gardaí have been active, there is a need for a specialised response from Gardaí who are specifically trained to tackle organised crime.”
He concluded, “New people are welcome to Portarlington. 99.99% of them are not involved in criminal activity. The indigenous residents have a reputation for being hard working and family and community orientated and this incident has come as an appalling shock to them.”