Kenny: robber gangs now using night vision goggles
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has entered the debate on rural crime, saying travelling gangs are evading gardaí by driving at high speed and wearing night vision goggles.
Gardaí are struggling to keep up with the wave of crime in rural areas, but Mr Kenny said that his Government is responding and is prepared to invest more in specialist vehicles to track the roaming gangs.
In an interview with the Irish Independent, Mr Kenny said while crime in isolated areas is nothing new, the "sophistication of the way gangs now do their business is very different".
"We have provided €27m for extra garda cars, another €700,000 for specialist vehicles to deal with these kinds of people. But it is very difficult when they drive with night vision goggles at excessive speeds and could do 10 burglaries at any time or location," Mr Kenny said.
Mr Kenny will travel to the National Ploughing Championships in Laois today, where rural crime is a major topic of discussion among farmers.
He admits that the closure of nearly 140 small garda stations "has always been an issue".
At the Championships yesterday, the IFA's Henry Burns warned that robberies were "starting to destroy the fabric of rural society".
Environment Minister Alan Kelly will today announce that CCTV cameras are to be installed at strategic positions on motorway entry and exit ramps as part of range of measures targeting travelling gangs.