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rural crime

Michael Healy-Rae: 'I don't feel sorry for criminals who go home in boxes'

The independent TD said the Government is bringing about the “demise of rural Ireland” through closures of Garda stations and post offices.

MICHAEL HEALY-RAE has said that a “soft approach” cannot be taken when dealing with thieves.

The independent TD said that many people in rural areas are left more exposed to criminals due to the closure of Garda stations.

It has lead to a rise in crime and nobody can tell me that the statistics are right and that crime in on the decrease: that’s rubbish. Ask any rural person living in Ireland – criminals are roaming around the countryside now, looking for easy targets.

Healy-Rae said that proposed changes to firearm licensing show the Government is “going after legally held guns” rather than illegally held weapons.

David Norris Presidential Campaigns Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

The Kerry South TD, a gun owner himself, said that many “highly respected” people he knows own guns for various sporting and hunting reasons.

To own a rifle or a handgun or a shotgun, you have to be a responsible person. You have to be vetted by gardaí.

Healy-Rae said that while nobody is advocating shooting thieves, homeowners are allowed to exert “reasonable force” when a burglar enters their property.

He said a serious message needs to be sent to criminals, adding that he “wouldn’t be sorry” if a criminal went “home in a box”:

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Video: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

Healy-Rae said the Fine Gael Labour coalition is “one of the most anti-rural Governments since the foundation of the State”.

The TD said the Government is facilitating the “demise of rural Ireland” in many ways, particularly by closing post offices.

They’re doing nothing to protect the rural post offices and this is like the elephant in the room. We’ve over 1,000 post offices, and we could lose 500 of those.

“Could we not wake up as a Government and look at what happened over in England? They lost thousands and thousands of post offices. Now they’re sorry, but they can’t go back. You can’t get back what you lose.”

We’ll have more from our interview with Michael Healy-Rae in the coming days.

296 garda retirements in 2013 and 100 station closures

Who should be allowed to own a gun in Ireland? It’s under discussion

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