Alarming rise in knife crime
IRELAND now suffers from Europe's worst knife-crime rate -- and has the second highest per capita number of knife killings.
The revelation came as Cork -- which for years prided itself on its reputation as Ireland's safest city -- suffered its fifth major stabbing incident in the space of just four weeks.
Two young men died in separate and unrelated stabbings last month, with three others surviving serious slash and stab injuries.
The latest incident saw a 31-year-old discovered in a pool of blood in Hollyhill on Cork's northside.
Shocked pedestrians found the man lying semi-conscious on May 28. His throat had been slashed with a bottle. The Ardcullen native only survived thanks to the skill of Cork University Hospital surgeons.
Limerick -- which for so long battled against the hated title of 'stab city' -- has dramatically improved its knife-crime rate over the past decade.
But Cork and Dublin have now found themselves faced with an alarming surge in knife-related crime.
Ireland's most senior criminal court judge, Mr Justice Paul Carney, warned that the country faced an alarming challenge in the spiral of knife-related violent crime.
"These (stabbing) scenarios must now account for dozens of deaths every year. Fatal stabbings are now out of control," he said.
A major World Health Organisation and United Nations study in 2010 found that Ireland had experienced a surge in knife-related violence over the previous 10 years.
Ireland now suffers from Europe's second highest per capita rate of knife killings. Ireland also has Europe's worst rate of knife-related crime.
The spate of knife attacks has led to calls for tougher regulations on knife sales.