'too easy' | 

Shop owner robbed of €120k calls for tougher sentences, says thieves treated ‘too leniently’

Kay Mulcaire of Isobel’s Boutique in Limerick said, ‘It just seems to be okay that the store picks up the bill’

Kay Mulcair

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

A shop owner who has been robbed twice in recent years has called for tougher sentences as thieves in Ireland are treated “too leniently”.

Kay Mulcaire, whose Isobel’s Boutique in Adare, Limerick, was robbed first in 2016 and then again in 2019, was speaking after new figures revealed how four in 10 Garda stations recorded a rise in criminal activity.

“I was robbed during the night and after I was ram-raided, I upped the security… I made sure it was alarmed every evening when I was leaving,” she told The Pat Kenny Show.

“Half two in the morning, the monitoring station in Dublin rang my mobile and they said the alarm is going off on your source.

“I got up out of bed and drove to Adare, went in, turned off the alarm.”

A Garda drove out from Limerick but had to leave as another alarm went off on the same night.

“That night there was €120,000 taken and I had to fight with my insurance company for nine months to get that money,” Ms Mulcaire added.

“I think they’re too lenient on robberies in Ireland.

“It just seems to be okay that the store picks up the bill, the restaurant, whatever is being robbed.

“I really think they need longer sentences for these guys.

“Number two, we need Garda on the beat, we need them on the street, we need their presence because it’s too easy for them.”

Figures released to the Sunday World revealed that despite lockdown measures forcing people to stay at home for much of last year, four in 10 Garda stations recorded a rise in criminal activity.

Speaking on the same show, Fine Gael Senator Barry Ward said that he believes the trend was influenced by the nature of lockdown.

“Crime is up in certain areas and that’s a worrying development,” Senator Ward said.

“If you look at the spread of crime increase, it is outside the urban areas.

"There’s kind of a migration from urban areas to rural areas.

“Which is consistent with the fact that during lockdown, people weren’t going into urban centres - they were staying in their local community, they were staying in rural areas.

“So, more people, probably means more crime.”

He also believes that the solution is to have more gardaí on the beat,” he said.

“Which is why we have seen huge investment in the number of guards and that’s what’s going to solve this problem; it’s gardaí in the community, in cars, on the beat who are going to detect crime.

“When people feel they’re going to get caught, that’s when they don’t commit crimes.”

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