Paul Williams has recently released his new book entitled ‘Badfellas, the shocking story of how Ireland became a hotbed of gangsterism, murder and mayhem’.
The former Leitrim Observer, Sunday World and News of the World reporter follows up his previous best-sellers The General, Gangland, Evil Empire, The Untouchables and Crime Wars with this new publication in which Williams tells the stories of the figureheads and major events that have taken place and that have sculpted the criminal underworld in Ireland. It hints at the possible socio-economic factors that ruined an almost unblemished investigative record in local Garda stations and sent Ireland totally unprepared into the modern gangster age.
Williams goes back as far as the foundation of the state where he says the bases were laid for the violent gang culture that has reared its ugly head in Ireland over last 50 years. He talks about the reformatory schools in Daingean, County Offaly and Letterfrack in County Galway which the Catholic Church established in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. He links the ‘us against them’ mentality that these institutions instilled in its pupils and suggests that this is where the crime lords of the future would come from.
He suggests that names such as Dunne, Cahill, Cunningham and Gilligan would have met each other in these schools and as a result would then go on to get their own back on a state which Williams feels didn’t do enough to protect them at an early age.
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.