More than 500 people in Dublin have been warned by gardaí that their lives are in danger from criminals involved in serious and organised crime.

Assistant Garda Commissioner Pat Leahy, who is in charge of policing the Dublin region, said ten of the most critical threats are to people in the north inner city.

Many of the Hutch-Kinahan feud related killings have happened in that area.

Asst Commissioner Leahy said that 522 people in the capital have been given a Garda Information Message warning them their lives are in danger.

Ten are deemed critical, 171 substantial, 51 severe, 136 moderate, 110 are low and 43 are under assessment.

He said the Hutch-Kinahan feud is one of three murderous feuds in the city, with the other two are based around Ballymun/Finglas and Ballyfermot/Clondalkin.

Mr Leahy said gardaí are now running what he called "preservation of life" beats to prevent more killings.

He said that more than 50 murders were prevented in the last two years, but 18 people have been killed as part of the Hutch-Kinahan feud.


 

Mr Leahy said signs suggest that this feud is set to continue for years.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Leahy said of the Hutch-Kinahan feud: "This was a single gang imploding, these were never two separate groupings. And they've known each other for years.

"They have intimate knowledge of each other because they were all part and parcel of the same grouping. They're family, they're relatives.

"And so much has happened now, it's unlikely that we're going to get a conclusion any time soon."

Under the special anti-gang Operation Hybrid there have been 55,842 checkpoints, 9,575 patrols and 16,069 searches since the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in February 2016.

Meanwhile, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said the gang violence has been underestimated, the gangs are a real threat to democracy and we ignore this underbelly "at our peril".

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke, Archbishop Martin said that, despite every effort, people continue to live "under the cloud of this violent group" who bribe young people into joining their activities.

He said his real concern was for the families and children in Dublin who had to live in this environment, and whose chances of leaving were becoming slimmer and slimmer.

Archbishop Martin said these criminal gangs do not listen to anyone and would "simply laugh" at him, if he was to tell them they are sinful and would go to hell.

Social Democrat Councillor for Dublin's north inner city, Gary Gannon, said there is a "constant and genuine sense of fear" in the area.

Speaking on the same programme, Mr Gannon said the area was strong and resilient but not immune to the drugs and violence associated with gang crime.

Independent Dublin City Councillor Mannix Flynn said we are facing a "kind of terrorism" in the area. He said that he believes more than 500 people are in danger.