A new study has found that there has been a dramatic increase in gun crime in Dublin over the past four decades due to gangland activity and drug dealing.

However, the authors concluded that despite the increase in gunshot injuries, the numbers in Ireland are still low by comparison with other developed countries.

The study published in the Irish Medical Journal shows that people shot with handguns are more likely to die than those shot with shotguns.

It also shows almost half of people shot with high velocity weapons in west Dublin over a ten year period died from their injuries, while only 6% of those with shotgun injuries died.

The shooting victims who were all brought to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown were aged between 15 and 52 - only one of them was female.

West Dublin is one of the areas worst affected by gun and gangland crime.

The study examined 65 gunshot victims who were treated there between 2001 and 2010.

It shows that people shot with handguns and other high velocity weapons such as rifles and semi-automatic firearms were much more likely to die than those shot with shotguns - a 43% mortality rate compared to just 6%.

The victims of high velocity weapons also tended to have been shot in the head, neck and torso while shotgun injuries focused on arms legs and outer organs.

Eight patients died in the hospital's Emergency Department.

The study also shows victims of gun and gangland crime are getting younger; the youngest was 15 and the oldest 52 with the average age dropping from 31 to 27.

The report concludes there has been a dramatic increase in gun crime in this country in the last four decades because of gangland activity and the drugs trade and an increasing number of people are being shot dead.

It also refers to information from Northern Ireland pointing out that before the ceasefire, most so called punishment beatings were carried out using shotguns, but that since 1994, they are more likely to be punishment beatings.