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Independent Ireland leader Michael Collins Alamy Stock Photo
Independent Ireland

Michael Collins TD proposes 'chemical castration' of rapists and defends guns for self-defence

Independent Ireland candidate Ciaran Mullooly told The Journal: ‘The views quoted in Hot Press are Michael Collins’ own personal views. They are not mine.’


THE LEADER OF new party Independent Ireland, Michael Collins TD, has voiced support for the chemical castration of rapists and paedophiles and defended the use of guns for self-defence in an interview with Hot Press magazine. 

The Cork TD also called for an automatic 25-year sentence for people convicted of three “serious” crimes.

He also voiced support for “holding bays” for refugees arriving in Ireland without complete documentation.

Collins told The Journal he hopes there will be “95% unity” among party candidates on comments he made in the interview.

Independent Ireland was set up last November by Collins and Limerick TD Richard O’Donoghue and describes itself as the “party of common sense”.

Collins hopes the party can run up to 50 candidates in the next general election.

Former RTÉ journalist Ciaran Mullooly was recently confirmed as an Independent Ireland European election candidate.

In a statement to The Journal, Mullooly said what then he accepted an invitation to run from Michael Fitzmaurice, he told Fitzmaurice that “I would retain my independence on all matters at all times”.

Mullooly added: “I understand the views quoted in Hot Press are Michael Collins’ own personal views. They are not mine.”

Mullooly also remarked that he is “fighting this election on the critical issues that effect the farming and rural communities of the midlands and north west.”

The website of Independent Ireland notes that the party will not operate a “strict party whip system and candidates will be free to speak and vote on key issues”.

On his chemical castration remarks, Collins told The Journal that “there should be serious consequences for the actions of paedophiles and rapists”.

“We should be tougher on crime and chemical castration should be considered in very serious cases, such as if someone carries out an act twice.”

On holding bays for refugees, Collins said: “I believe there are talks with the government that they might be using these.”

“They’d have to have the proper facilities and room for paperwork to be filled in.

“Then people will feel at ease that the person is entitled to be coming and if they aren’t then they shouldn’t be allowed in.”

Collins also speaks about the burqa in the Hot Press interview and is quoted as saying: “I think we should ban that, in fairness.”

Speaking to The Journal, Collins said this came up during a discussion on immigration and he was asked if he agrees with the decision by France to ban the veil.

Collins told The Journal that while he “won’t call for a ban on it, if it ever comes up, I will support it”.

He added: “I’m not going out looking for it, it’s never come before us on the doorsteps.

“Politics is listening to the people and what the people want, and many have an issue with immigration at the moment.”

Collins also doubled down on his comments about getting “tough on crime” and his call for a 25-year prison sentence for people convicted of three “serious crimes”.

“In recent times gardaí are being attacked and people are holding cameras in their faces.

“We should be harder on crime to ensure people know there are consequences.

“If somebody has three serious convictions for causing serious harm to a person or to their property and is getting out of prison after a year or two, we’re sending the wrong message.”

While Collins told The Journal that “crime is a big issue”, he added that “it’s not out of control” and that “it’s just handled badly”.

Collins also remarked to Hot Press that “you should be able to use a firearm and protect yourself”.

He told the magazine: “I hate to think you’d shoot somebody dead, but certainly there’s plenty of room in the legs, or over the head to frighten the living daylights out of them.”

Collins told The Journal that while “we shouldn’t expand access to guns” and noted that he doesn’t own one himself, “you should be able to use your firearm if its legally held”.

He added: “The overwhelming majority of people won’t have a firearm, but you should be allowed to use it to stop people from breaking and entering.”

Collins confirmed to The Journal that he didn’t inform candidates of his two-hour interview with Hot Press and added that it is not practical to do so.

And while he acknowledged that not all candidates will agree with what he said, Collins said he “hopes” there will a lot of “unity” regarding his comments.

“With a two-hour interview, you’re not going to get 100% unity, but I hope there is 95% unity on it,” said Collins.

“I have had one candidate contact me and I went through the interview with him and he said, ‘well, that’s grand’, after I explained it.”

Collins noted that Independent Ireland doesn’t have a party whip and that he knows candidates won’t agree on everything.

“There are some parts of the interview that people will think, ‘I don’t agree with that’, but if someone says to me they voted to legalise abortion for example, does that mean they can’t run for the party?

“No, it doesn’t mean that. Some people will have a different viewpoint and that’s okay.”

Collins added: “I can assure you that the likes of Simon Harris and Micheál Martin make comments that make colleagues shudder, but they are not allowed to say anything and just accept it.

“They are whipped into place and given no choice in the matter.”

Collins also said it is “impossible” to clear an interview with everyone.

“They weren’t informed beforehand, but I do around 10 interviews a week on different issues.

“I don’t and can’t inform candidates beforehand. If a journalist rings me, I can’t say ‘well hold on so I can ask others’, you can’t ask for permission for every interview, you have to run on your own best judgement.”

Collins also criticised some aspects of the interview and remarked: “There was no talk about housing, public transport, health. It was an interview about ‘God, God, and God’.”

The Independent Ireland leader told The Journal that he stood over his comments to Hot Press, but that some of the headlines garnered from the interview were “unfair”.

For example, the original Hot Press headline read: “Michael Collins on why he believes IRA bombers go to heaven.”

This has since been changed to: “Michael Collins on why he believes Martin McGuinness has gone to heaven.”

“The headline changed this morning to reflect that we were focusing on an individual, but I was made to look like I was going light on serious criminals,” said Collins.

He added: “We were talking about McGuinness for about five minutes, and I was asked if God would forgive Martin McGuinness, he was an IRA bomber.

“I said he would, and they said do you mean all bombers, and I said we’re talking about Martin McGuinness and someone who swapped the sword for the pen.

“As far as I’m concerned, the Lord would see that as an act that brought great peace to a terrible conflict and McGuinness drew in people from all over, like Bill Clinton and Ian Paisley.

“So I think it’s unfair to say I said ‘all IRA bombers’, and it’s since been changed, but they were looking for a sensational headline and that’s what they got.”

Hot Press has since told The Journal that Collins was “not just referring to Martin McGuinness” and was asked the following question: “You’re saying all IRA terrorists who opted for peace should be forgiven by God and go to heaven?”

Collins responded that he hoped “God would have that forgiving nature”.

Collins added: “They felt they were justified to fight for their freedom and it’s the same as General Michael Collins.

“Do we say Michael Collins and de Valera were not suitable to go to heaven? I don’t agree with that. I think they’re great people of our time and I think the Lord will forgive them.”