Cork city garda division down 20 detectives for the last year; Six violent deaths in that time

Cork city garda division down 20 detectives for the last year; Six violent deaths in that time
Members of the Garda forensic team at Castlegreina House on the Boreenmanna Road in Cork the body of Frankie Dunne was found a few days after Christmas.

THE Cork City Garda Division has been down almost 20 detectives since last May, during a time when there were six violent deaths in the city.

Garda sources have spoken of their frustration that the numbers have fallen in the past year, due to promotions and unreplaced retirements, during a time when the city had some of the most gruesome cases in decades.

The high-profile murders of Cameron Blair and Frankie Dunne, who was decapitated and left in the garden of a vacant home, have occurred since Christmas.

In the case of Frankie Dunne, the killing of the homeless man left one of the most complex crime scenes ever found in the city, and investigators have travelled to Romania as part of the probe.

Gardaí are now hoping that the graduation of 200 new gardaí from the Garda Training College in Templemore in the next few weeks will result in an allocation of gardaí for the city division.

Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin acknowledged that there have a number of serious crime incidents in recent months in Cork.

Anglesea Street Garda Station, Cork. 
Anglesea Street Garda Station, Cork. 

However, he moved to allay concerns, saying that none of the violent deaths were connected.

He added: “We are optimistic that we will receive a number of probationer gardaí in February.”

He is hoping that the number of gardaí to be allocated will be revealed to Cork garda management in the coming days.

These graduates would potentially help free up uniform gardaí for transfer into detective roles in the city.

The recent serious crimes and murders are being investigated by the existing detectives in the Cork City division and additional detectives from other divisions have not been drafted in to help.

In the past fortnight, a team of four gardaí travelled to Bucharest to interview a Romanian man who they have identified as a “person of interest” in their investigation into the murder of Frankie Dunne.

His dismembered body was discovered in the grounds of Castlegreina House, Boreenmanna Rd, on December 28.

Mr Dunne had been living close by in supported accommodation provided by Cork Simon.

His body was found by a person looking for their cat.

He is believed to have been murdered on the evening or night of December 27.

A Garda spokesman said investigators are now working through the interview given by the Romanian man to verify and back up what he said during the meeting with gardaí in Bucharest.

Forensic samples taken from the man have been sent to a laboratory in Dublin for testing.

Sinn Féin’s former justice spokesman, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, said: “There is no doubt that we have faced major challenges in the last few months in Cork.

“We have had harrowing murders and serious assaults.”

He said it is now essential that Cork City gets an allocation from the new tranche due to graduate.

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