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Dublin: 11°C Monday 10 May 2021

Is this the crackdown on gangs rural Ireland has been crying out for?

Here’s everything you need to know about what’s happening in Irish politics right now…

Updated at 9.45am

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Everyone’s talking about…

The government appears to be stirring into action on the increasingly high-profile issue of rural crime.

15/01/2015. Garda . Pictured new Garda cars in Gar Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Earlier this month a meeting of landowners grabbed headlines as the 3,000 attendees shared stories of how they personally had been affected by crime.

One woman told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland after the meeting that she lives in fear after a previous break-in, sleeping with a loaded shotgun next to her bed. Others spoke of the increasing sense of paranoia setting into communities outside of towns and cities.

The Irish Independent reports of the government’s plan to upgrade the garda fleet, including the creation of a motorway patrol unit.

It has previously been suggested that criminals are using motorways to quickly get away from burglaries in rural areas.

And following the death of Garda Tony Golden, the coalition will be keen to promote any efforts to boost garda resources.

On his way into cabinet, Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin said:

“The idea that you’d have very visible high-profile cars manning our motorways, [and] manning roads off our motorways, not only is a deterrent to anybody who might think they can get away with it but they also will be in a position to respond very quickly to any incident that happens.”

I understand that’s what’s envisaged and I think it’s necessary.

One Galway community believes concerns over a lack of manpower in the force is causing a local gang to become more reckless.

Speaking of the situation in the Knocknacarra area, one source told TheJournal.ie that they’re just “smashing and grabbing and they don’t care if there are people in the house”, and have been committing crimes in the area for a number of years.

Sinn Féin senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh said more resources are needed to target localised incidents like this.

The agenda

  • Cabinet will meet this morning, with rural crime and the time limit on releasing cabinet papers on the agenda.
  • The Taoiseach has said he is due to receive a report on the activities of paramilitary organisations this morning, and more details are expected to be released later.
  • Questions on garda resources are sure to feature when Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald fields questions at 2pm.
  • The greyhound industry will be under the microscope at 2pm in the Agriculture, Food and the Marine committee.
  • Enda will be up for Leaders’ Questions at 3.15pm, and will be taking questions on his own portfolio afterwards.
  • The National Library of Ireland’s future will be discussed at 3.45pm at the Culture committee.
  • The Marriage Bill will continue to be discussed in the Seanad at 5pm.
  • The Dáil will debate unwinding FEMPI legislation after Topical Issues, which is at 6.31pm.

Inside Leinster House

6/10/2015 Cabinet Meetings Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Michael Noonan and Alan Kelly are at great pains to emphasise they are not rowing in the corridors of Government Buildings over rent certainty. The Finance Minister said yesterday there was no rift between the two, and on his way into cabinet the Environment Minister said they met yesterday for some time and he “didn’t sense any negativity whatsoever”. Best buds.

What the others are saying…

  • The big story for The Irish Times this morning is that a massive overhaul of road traffic legislation is on the way to crack down on drink-driving.
  • The 30-year rule for release of State papers could be reduced to 20, in line with the United Kingdom, RTÉ News reports.
  • The Irish Examiner carries quotes from the Taoiseach, who warned party delegates that the economy must not be handed to those with ‘unknown intentions’. He was also selected to run in Mayo. Shocker.
  • Minister Brendan Howlin has weighed in on linking rent to inflation, which sparked some disagreement between Michael Noonan and Alan Kelly (not a row, they say). He is quoted in The Times (Irish edition) as saying it could provide rent certainty.

In case you missed it…

Good day for…

Canada’s Liberal party. It has won a landslide victory in the country’s general election. Leader Justin Trudeau, who pledges to raise taxes on the richest Canadians, will be able to form a majority government.

Bad day for…

John Perry. The Fine Gael junior minister’s future still hangs in the balance. The Irish Independent reports reports that his constituency partner, Tony McLoughlin, insists Perry won’t be added to the ticket in Sligo/North Leitrim.

On the Twitter machine…

Paul Murphy politely declined Fianna Fáil’s offer of coalition in five short words.

About the author:

Nicky Ryan

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