The Word on the Week

Northside Feud

The drug war clocks up 20 years since the murder of ace journalist Veronica Guerin. She gave the drug barons no respite with her reporting on them and eventually paid for it with her life.
Recently feuds between two rival gangs have produced seven murders since last September, the most recent occurring this week.
The area the crimes have taken place is the Northside of Dublin, more recently narrowing down to an area within Dublin 1. Considerable numbers of armed Garda patrol the area and there are numerous checkpoints on the roads.
Despite this high level of security the most recent murder took place under the noses of the patrols.
Those involved are the Kinahan and Hutch families. The likely victims are known to the Garda and one of the suspect gang members recently handed himself in for his own safety.

There was a time when the Criminal Assets Bureau were successfully confiscating the proceeds of drug money but it has been getting progressively more difficult as the drug money has been used to buy businesses. Sales of luxury motor cars have been a popular way to spend drug income. The proceeds from the businesses are paid out as salaries but the tell-tale signs of very expensive cars being driven by unlikely people indicate where the money trail is.
Arrests are being made but getting witnesses to testify in the existing climate of fear is difficult.
The organisers of drug crime have moved to places like Spain where there are many international mafia groups. They control the Irish trade through family members’ resident here. Their assets are safer in Spain where CAB cannot reach them and, unless there is a Spanish conviction, their assets cannot be seized.
It is well known that drugs create addictions which destroy the body and confuse the mind. The short term relief they give is a poor exchange for the craving for more which they inflict on the body.

Jesus equated his body with the temple; the place where God dwells. He also realised it was but a temporary dwelling and that it would be destroyed. Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews misunderstood him and said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken (St John Chapter 2 verses 19 to 22).
St Paul writing his first letter to the church at Corinth reminded them that believers have God living in them. “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple (Chapter 3 verses 16/17).

The good news for the drug user is that by trusting his body to Jesus he can be delivered from his addictions and have his mental and physical health restored.
The invitation Jesus gave is still open to anyone who sees their need. “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (St Matthew Chapter 11 verse 28).