Hanging is too good for these scumbag criminals
The shocking and coldblooded murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe in County Louth by a scumbag gunman on Friday night has rightly horrified the nation, and shows just how out of control that criminal gangs have become on both sides of the border.
For a decent, honest, hardworking man - and no doubt a loving husband and devoted father - to be so callously shot down in the course of his duty, something has to have gone seriously awry, not just in our society but also in a justice system that simply mustn't evoke enough fear in the sort of criminal who would commit such crime. And all, remember, for the paltry sum of just €4,000, as that's all the gang of raiders managed to get away with.
We don't know what side of the border the murderer comes from - a car that was suspected to have been used in the getaway was founed burnt out in South Armagh, but that's not to say they didn't then come back to this side of the divide again - but what we can say with reasonable certainty is that this wouldn't have been the culprit's first brush with crime, and that chances are that he has therefore been subject to some rigours of the justice system either here or in the North.
But wherever or whatever they were, they obviously weren't enough to scare him away from a life of crime, or make him see right. He may even have enjoyed free legal aid here - paid for by you and me, remember - as some solicitor made a case about a difficult upbringing or some such nonsense, and how he is now 'trying to turn things around' - a phrase that's used so often in the courts that you almost expect to see a collection of spinning tops in the dock.
There have been some calls for new laws to be passed to assist Gardai and their PSNI colleagues in tracking down and bringing to justice the sort of criminal gangs like the one behind Friday night's murder, but Justice Minister Alan Shatter has ruled out any new legislation, saying the Gardai 'already have all the tools they need'.
There's one law that could be introduced, though. Or, more correctly, re-introduced. It's one that would allow for the death penalty in cases like this.
The death penalty hasn't actually been used here since 1954. In the intervening years, several who were handed a death sentence had it commuted by the then Presidents to 40 years in prison, without parole. Then, in 1990, it was abolished in law, before being specifically prohibited in a constitutional referendum in 2002, as the majority of voters opposed the idea of even the notion of it for cases of 'capital murder' like the one we've just seen.
It's time now to bring it back. But in a certain way, and one that would be the greatest deterrent possible to anybody who might ever consider committing such a crime again in future.
For example, let there be none of the ' humanitarian' and painless lethal injection like they use in some American states. A firing squad with the traditional offer of a blindfold would be affording the scumbag far too much dignity too - far more, for instance, than he afforded brave Detective Garda Donohoe on Friday night. Hanging would be too good for them too.
Instead - public torture. Let them suffer. And the more despicable their crime, the more they should have to suffer. Whoever was responsible for Friday night's murder would be suffering for a long, long time.