Dublin TD Ruth Coppinger's home burgled while she was on the radio
Published 23/01/2016 | 14:26
The home of a Dublin TD was broken into while she was at RTE for a radio appearance.
Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Ruth Coppinger has hit back at reports that crime is focused in rural areas after her Dublin home was burgled.
Ms Coppinger's daughter and partner were in the home at the time.
During a discussion on rural crime on Today with Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio One yesterday morning, she said crime could happen anywhere.
"There's obviously issues in rural areas - you know, the garda stations being closed down, post offices, people feeling isolated - but I'm a bit concerned the way this is being raised as rural burglaries," she said.
"My house was burgled last night [Thursday] actually.
"When I arrived home at 9pm the place was rifled through.
"And I just want to emphasise it happens in urban areas as well. In big urban areas we don't see the guards either.
"It was upsetting because my daughter was there and I was actually on my way out to RTE last night, so it was my partner and my daughter and it's upsetting for a child to see a house being invaded."
The TD was appearing on The Late Debate on RTE Radio One when the incident occurred.
She said the reason she brought it up was because crime is a "regular event" for people in urban areas and was not confined to isolated rural parts of the country.
"I do have sympathy with that [rural isolation].
"Some TDs are jumping on this, particularly from conservative parties, because they have nothing else to say on economic issues. They're jumping on this bandwagon of crime - but it affects rural and urban, so let's stop dividing people," she said.
She said she will speak to neighbours who may have seen anything suspicious in the area on Thursday.
"I have to go and chat to them later, I'm going to knock on a few doors and just let them know because they may have seen something.
"This idea that because you're in an urban area, you're somehow shielded from crime, you're not.
"My car was broken into before Christmas as well. This is a regular feature. People don't even report it.
"[I didn't report] the car because I knew nothing was going to happen. I did last night with the gardai just for the formality.
"But we have one garda station. You ring, but there's never a garda car for crime that affects ordinary people."
Labour Minister and Dublin TD Aodhan O Riordain - who also appeared on the panel with Sean O'Rourke - sympathised with Ms Coppinger and called for more discussion about the social issues which lead to crime.