THE chairman of a joint policing committee has said he would have no hesitation in shooting an intruder if he found one in his home.
Galway city councillor Padraig Conneely said he believed the current spate of robberies would result in a death because people were being terrorised in their own homes. And he warned that in similar circumstances he would pull the trigger.
"I believe one body laid out on a slab after a robbery would put an end to robberies in the area pretty lively," he added.
The Fine Gael councillor and former mayor of Galway does not own a firearm but insisted if he had, he would have no issue about using it in such circumstances.
"If you were to come home and find people in your house ransacking it, you have to think what state of mind would that leave you in?
"I think I'd have pulled the trigger and blew the legs off them if I had found them," he said.
Mr Conneely earlier told a meeting of the joint policing committee in Galway of a recent case in which the home of a couple was ransacked while the owner was at a duck hunt.
"When he returned, he had his shotgun with him. If he'd come across the burglar, that shotgun might have come into use. I would find it hard to disagree with that person. If it were me and I owned a legally held firearm and came across somebody in my home, I would certainly consider using it," he said.
Garda Superintendent Marie Skehill responded to Mr Conneely's comments, saying: "I'm glad, chairman, you don't have a firearm."
After the meeting, Mr Conneely defended his comments, insisting that the recent spate of robberies had left people at their wits' end.
"People are totally traumatised. It's an awful sensation to find somebody in your house and they might not be responsible for what they do."
He said he believed such an incident was likely to occur if the current level of burglaries continues.
The meeting heard of a number of robberies over the past few weeks in the area. However, it is believed that some victims are failing to report the crimes believing there is little gardai can do.