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Sunday 31 August 2014

Padraig Nally: My neighbours still live in fear

Aishling Phelan

Published 21/01/2014 | 12:37

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A MAN cleared of manslaughter after shooting dead an intruder in his home almost a decade ago has said his neighbours still live in fear.

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Farmer Padraig Nally from Co. Mayo was speaking after it emerged a 68-year-old pensioner in Clare fled his home by bicycle after robbers terrorised him.

‘‘They’re all living in fear now because the crowd that’s going around now, they don’t fear nothing and unless they’re brought into court there’s no penalty on them,’’ Mr Nally told The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk.

Mr Nally was cleared of manslaughter in 2006 after shooting dead traveller John Frog Ward when he caught him breaking into his home ten years ago.

‘‘It’s a sad state affairs when a man living in his own home has to flee in the middle of the night on a bicycle to a nursing home, to leave him own property and leave his own home,’’ he said referring to the case of bachelor Michael McMahon.

Pensioner McMahon abandoned his home and cycled almost 50km through the night to check himself into a nursing home after he was terrorised by the burglars.

‘‘A next door neighbour of mine was raided there, (they) broke the back door with a JCB and then went through the front door when they couldn’t get the back door open,’’ Mr Nally added.

Asked if there is anything that can be done to protect those living in remote areas he said, ‘‘there’s nothing that can be done because security is too lax in this country.’’

‘‘If you ring guards now it’s 20 or 30 miles away,’’ he said.

Mr Nally had to defend himself when an intruder entered his home.

There were changes in the law after his case which allows people to take more direct action when defending themselves or their property.

‘‘People will sooner do time in jail than let people get away with their property,’’ he said.

‘‘People are going to hospital, going to weddings and going on holidays and everything when they come home is gone,’’ he added.

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