'unacceptable' | 

Justice Minister says Rathkeale violence not reflective of ‘fine, proud people’ living there

It comes after six SUVs were rammed in the town on Monday

Simon Harris

Clodagh MeaneySunday World

Justice Minister Simon Harris has said that violence and crime in Rathkeale does not reflect the “fine, proud people” living in the town.

It comes after a violent incident on Monday in which six SUVs were rammed.

Video footage from the scene shows damaged cars, and people in balaclavas. In other footage someone can be seen brandishing a machete.

Speaking on The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk after a visit to the Limerick town on Tuesday evening, the Fine Gael TD said that an incident is being taken seriously as the town is not “above the law.”

“There is no part of this country that is above the law nor is there anybody in this country who is above the law.”

“The level of wanton criminality seen in Rathkeale in recent days is not comparable to what has been seen in previous years,” he added.

Harris, who is acting as Justice Minister while Helen McEntee is on maternity leave said that the priorities are to bring those involved to justice, protect the community over Christmas and break the cycle of criminality in the area.

“They are just so sick and tired of what they now see as an annual occurrence of criminality, anti-social behaviour, assaults and the like in their town,” he said of the locals.

“That is not acceptable in any part of this country.

“It is not acceptable in Rathkeale and it won’t be tolerated by the Gardaí or the Government. We will support them in every way.”

“I talked to mothers here in Rathkeale yesterday who don’t want to be explaining this to their children every Christmas. Where this horrific, despicable incident happened in recent days was right beside playing pitches.”

“I think people need to get this,” he continued.

“Thankfully we didn’t see the loss of life in Rathkeale such was the level of criminality in the recent days and that is the way in which we will approach the situation.”


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