Several 385 suspected offenders have been linked to offenses because the nation’s national DNA database was launched, it has been revealed.
In the first 15 months that Forensic Science Ireland (FSI) has since operated the directory it connected suspects to two murders, five sexual assaults, 42 robberies or thefts and 295 burglaries.
The bureau uploaded 9,048 DNA profiles around into the database last year and it is now adding a second 1,000 a month.
Under laws brought in a couple of years back, genetic samples might be collected from crime scenes and saved indefinitely by the FSI and other trials can also be taken out of sex offenders, prisoners and suspects arrested for crimes which carry a prison sentence of five years or more.
The FSI also can support trials from family members of missing people to assist in the analysis of unknown remains.
Dr Sheila Willis, director of the bureau, said: “The fact that the database has been operating for more than a year and although it is currently joining one in every five crime scene samples to people is actually encouraging. It identified 428 hits in 2016 which assisted 625 cases.
“The database really is demonstrating itself to be a very valuable crime intelligence tool .”
The laboratory highlighted the case of a suspected sex offender who had been found in the first 3 months that the database was operational after he had been arrested over a traffic violation along with his genetic make-up was found to match traces of semen found on a 15-year-old girl.
The FSI said it put significant resources into surgeries connected to the bloody feud between the Kinahan-Hutch groups after the Regency Hotel gun attack in early 2016.
Dr Sheila Willis talking at the Forensic Science Ireland Annual Report 2016 release now at Farmleigh House pic.twitter.com/wzo4b9ZhlU
— FSI (@ForensicSci\_Ire) May 17, 2017
It said its personnel worked on stringent analysis of a wide range of exhibits following raids by the Garda’s organized crime units and drugs group, including guns, drugs and clothes.
The FSI laboratory also said its scientists identified or identified 27 new recreational drugs in Ireland last year.
They included four benzodiazepine psychoactive kinds, 12 stimulants under the cathinone bracket which are chemically similar to the active component from the khat plant along with the other three called tryptamines which cause hallucinations. It found three lab-created synthetic cannabis medications and also three fentanyl or opiate-type substances.
The laboratory also recognized the lethal 25I-NBOMe, which includes the road name N-Bomb.
It’s a highly effective synthetic hallucinogen which Alex Ryan, 18, from Liscahane, Millstreet, Cork, had been said to have shot at a home party four times before he died in hospital.
The FSI stated that the drug had only been spotted six times within Ireland and generally seemed as soaked blotter paper.
It said that the partygoers had taken exceptionally toxic quantities of the medication in white powder form. They believed they were taking a different drug and took 100 times the normal dose, it said.
Dr Willis said: “The pace with which new highly poisonous synthetic drugs and psychoactive substances have been produced overseas and made available for sale online is presenting new challenges because of our scientists as these drugs are so fresh and inconsistent.
“They’re around 100 times more poisonous than regular substances and therefore are exceptionally dangerous.
“Our scientists are working closely with our international colleagues to ensure that we’re able to quickly recognize these new substances and assist the gardai in their efforts to secure convictions against guilty parties .”
Other important breakthroughs involving analysis at the FSI laboratory included distinguishing Kenneth O’Brien from Clondalkin, Dublin, whose dismembered remains were found in bags in the Grand Canal in early 2016.
Work about the FSI’s new 60 million laboratory in Co Kildare is to begin later this year.