Monday 5 December 2016

Solicitor causes outrage by claiming that communities should have the right to use violence to protect them against drug dealers

Published 02/03/2016 | 20:43

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A Dublin solicitor has caused outrage after claiming that communities should have the right to use violence if they feel it is necessary to protect themselves against drug dealers.

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Malachy Steenson went on Joe Duffy’s Liveline show yesterday where he said that “drug dealers don’t have the right to exist at all, and they shouldn’t be in our society.”

Mr Steenson spoke about the horrific death of Vinny Ryan who was gunned down in the city on Monday afternoon – his brother Alan (32) was also shot dead in September 2012.

“People need to remember that Vincent Ryan was only 25 years of age,  a very young man with a month old, or six week old baby, who he was devoted to, and that’s where Vincent Ryan’s focus was for the past number of years.”

Mr Duffy said he was very conscious that someone was dead, and he had a baby.

“We are very conscious also, as you are Malachy that nobody I am sure you will  agree can play judge and jury, isn’t that correct?  If they believe someone has done wrong, nobody apart from the State  has the right to play judge and jury, and in this case executioner, sure they haven’t?,” Mr Duffy said to Mr Steenson.

“Well certainly drug dealing gangs don’t have the right to go around assassinating people in the community,” Mr Steenson said.

In the course of the interview, he said that communities have a right to protect themselves.

“If the State refuses to protect communities, communities have a right and an obligation to protect themselves and their children, to take whatever steps they have to,” he said.

“Including being judge, jury and executioner?” Joe Duffy asked.

“If that’s what it takes to rid society of this cancer,” Mr Steenson said.

The Liveline host said it was an “outrageous” thing to say.

“If a community has evidence that an individual is plying heroin or cocaine or other drugs into their community, they have a right to deal with that individual, in the absence of the State  having dealt with it,” Mr Steenson said.

When asked by the Liveline host, how should they deal with it? Mr Steenson said that that was  a matter for the community, they can take whatever sanction they want.

“Including violence?” Mr Duffy said.

“If necessary, yes,” Mr Steenson said.

However, giving his reaction, Independent councillor Mannix Flynn said that the gardai, and rehabilitative institutes and the myriad services that we have out there for those in difficulty have served the community well.

“In relation to those who drug deal, any community or any member or the public who knows of anybody who is a drug dealer or is behaving in an unlawful criminal manner, there is a 999 number, there is a Garda confidential number and there is also your local representatives who you can talk to.

“Under no circumstances whatsoever, even in the most extreme circumstances, would I advocate any member of the public taking the law into their own hands.”

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