Tuesday 21 November 2017

Burglars who attacked pensioner in his home are 'scumbags', Dáil hears

Jimmy and Maura Campion
Jimmy and Maura Campion
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Burglars who attacked a 94-year-old man with his own walking stick have been described as “scumbags” and “thugs” in the Dáil.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the assault on Jimmy Campion in Roscrea, Co Tipperary on Sunday night was “unforgiveable in so many ways”.

He described the robbery as an “act of cowardice” and “wanton brutality” carried out by “thugs”.

Mr Campion and his wife Maura (87) have been left traumatised after two men broke in through a side window of their home at 11.45pm on Sunday.

The Taoiseach was responding to comments from Kerry TD Michael Healy Rae who told the Dáil those responsible should be “tagged for life”.

“These people are scumbags. They are the worse type of cowardly blaggards that God ever put on this world,” he said.

 “Two men attacked him. They broke his walking stick over his head. They ransacked his house, they stole his money. This type of behaviour from any human being should not be tolerated.”

Mr Healy Rae said at the time of journalist Veronica Guerin’s murder all sides of the political spectrum came together to tackle organised crime in a diligent and organised way.

He said a similar response was now needed so that elderly people can feel safe in their homes and “happy in the knowledge that if anybody comes into their homes and hurts a hair on their head they will be severely dealt with”.

“I want action. I want these people to stop being treated with kid gloves,” he said, added that there is “every sort of pampering and nonsense” like free legal aid for criminals.

Mr Kenny said the Government had made a number of legislative changes aimed at discouraging burglary gangs, including Operation Thor.

He said the attack on Mr Campion wasn’t the first of its type and “unfortunately it won’t be the last time it happened”.

Mr Kenny said 75pc of burglaries are committed by 25pc of people. 

“I do hope the Garda in Roscrea will be able to apprehend these people and it will be up to the courts to punish them,” he said.

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