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Enda Kenny is dead serious about high-speed burglars wearing night-vision goggles

The Taoiseach says they’re involved in high-speed chases at night time.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says he's not joking when he says criminals are using night-vision goggles.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny says he's not joking when he says criminals are using night-vision goggles.
Image: Youtube

FIANNA FÁIL LEADER Micheal Martin has accused the Taoiseach of being “out of touch” with rural Ireland over the closure of garda stations.

At leaders questions today, Martin asked Enda Kenny about the case of the Corcoran family who were left injured and terrified after armed burglars entered their home in Tipperary.

Kenny agreed that the issue of burglaries across the country is “deplorable” and causes “fearsome damage”.

“I am aware, as are the gardai, that a small number of gangs are responsible for carrying out the majority of these burglaries,” he said.

“I regret that these burglaries occur and I hope that the Minister for Justice, in conjunction with the garda commissioner, can put a specific plan in place to deal with those specific gangs that are carrying out those burglaries in various parts of the country.”

He defended his government’s record, saying they’ve re-opened the Templemore garda training college and invested €27 million in replacing ‘clapped out’ garda vehicles.

ek Enda Kenny defended his government's record on rural crime. Source: Oireachtas.ie

He also said that they’ve recently put down new laws that would allow for tougher sentences on repeat burglars.

But the Fianna Fáil leader described the Taoiseach’s answer as a “very weak response”, saying he was “speaking like a commentator”.

Martin made sarcastic reference to a recent interview by the Taoiseach in the Irish Independent in which he said he’d been told that some of the gangs were “driving at high-speed wearing night-vision goggles”.

martin Source: Oireachtas.ie

“Will you listen to the people of rural Ireland,” Martin asked the Taoiseach. “They’re saying garda presence matters, stations matter, they act as a deterrent, their presence on the ground acts a deterrent.”

But Kenny defended his comments about night-vision goggles, saying that high-speed chases at night time are indeed a problem.

“Because of the incidence of specialised burglary gangs leaving from particular parts of the country, we’ve given almost a million for specialised vehicles to deal with high-speed chases. It is a fact deputy Martin, and you can make a comment about it if you like, that some of these gangs do use night-vision goggles and and drive at high speed.”

Speaking next about the issue possible eviction of residents of a Dublin apartment block, Mary Lou McDonald TD joked that the Taoiseach needed “clear vision goggles”.

Read: Five men arrested over burglaries in Tipperary area >

Read: Homeowner punched in face and tied up by burglars >

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Rónán Duffy

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