Europe

Irish police chief rejects reissue of Uzi machine guns

  • 27 March 2013
  • From the section Europe
Garda car

The Commissioner of the Irish police has rejected calls for detectives to be reissued with Uzi submachine guns.

Martin Callinan said it "would not have made the slightest bit of difference" if a murdered detective had been armed with an Uzi.

Detective Adrian Donohoe was shot during a robbery on 25 January 2013.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) passed a motion calling for the reissue of the Israeli-made weapons at its conference.

The guns, carried by police on cash escort duty, were withdrawn from service in 2012 and replaced by pistols.

Inspector Walter Kilcullen of the AGSI told delegates the Uzi had not been available for the detective on the day he was killed "and it's not available for our colleagues today".

Commissioner Callinan said: "Anyone who is equipped with the salient facts in relation to the brutal murder of Adrian Donohoe will quickly realise that an Uzi submachine gun in those circumstances would not have made the slightest bit of different."

He added that he thought it was "an inappropriate comment" given that Mr Donohoe's family was "still grieving".

The commissioner said some units were still armed with submachine guns.

"These regional support units are well-armed and they are well-equipped with all the necessary accoutrements in terms of automatic weapons."

Four AGSI delegates walked out of the hall during Commissioner Callinan's speech to the conference.