Large machetes 'which could easily kill' openly on sale a short distance from Dublin's O'Connell St
'This weapon could easily kill or maim any person on the receiving end of it during an attack' - security expert
This shop in Dublin's north inner city is illegally selling machetes similar to those used in the London terror attacks.
The terror attacks, which took place on June 3rd, were carried out by ISIS militants using machete-style knives. Eight people were killed and 48 more people were injured.
Hands Hardware, a shop on Dorset Street, just a few minutes' walk from Dublin's main thoroughfare, is selling the same style of knives to the public from its window display.
The sale of machetes is considered an offense under section 12 of The Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act, 1990.
An Independent.ie journalist went undercover in a test purchase and was not asked for any identification, proof of age or reason for wanting to buy the large knife.
In fact, the only condition given to the journalist on purchasing the knife was he was told that he "didn’t buy it here."
The knife cost €50 and was presented in a black sheath. While the machete was not fully sharpened when sold, nor was it blunt - and it could be easily sharpened if required.
Other large knifes, hatchets and switch blades were displayed around the shop. The shop assistance also presented our journalist with a replica pistol, claiming it was fake and "perfectly legal to sell."
When confronted about selling the machetes, the assistant, who identified himself as Thomas Brown, claimed that they are not breaking any laws by selling the machete.
“They’re only memorabilia, they are not the real McCoy," he said.
“Everything we sell is legal, we don’t sell anything like that."
However, Mr Brown then went on to acknowledge that knives like this may present a risk to the community.
"I agree, they shouldn’t be sold," he added.
The machete's blade measures 34cm long and 3mm thick and could potentially be deadly if put in the wrong hands, according to a leading self-defence expert.
Speaking to Independent.ie, Sergeant Mick O'Brien of Self-Protection, a self-defence organisation set up by members of the Irish Defence Forces and An Garda Síochána, explained how dangerous the weapon could potentially be.
"If I’m not mistaken the machete is known as a ‘Jungle King’, I have used something similar in East Timor while with the Defence forces, its primary use was for slicing through thick bushes and bamboo, which it did quite easily.
"The same machete could easily cause a lot of damage... because of the length of the weapon it would make defending against much more difficult."
Sgt O’Brien, who holds the rank of Sergeant in the Irish Army, has served for 28 years. He has completed tours in Lebanon, East Timor, Liberia and Kosovo.
He spoke about the use of similar weapons in the recent terrorist attack in London.
"During the recent London attacks, similar weapons were used by the terrorists and were taped to the terrorists' hands in order to avoid disarming.
"This weapon could easily kill or maim any person on the receiving end of it during an attack," he added.
Professor Shane Kilcommins, who lectures in Evidence Law in the University of Limerick, explained what the laws surrounding the sale and purchase of these knives mean.
"Section 12 of the offensive weapon act says that it is an offence to sell a weapon like this.
"Under subsection four, of the 1991 amendment, a machete or broad knife falls under the category of an offensive weapon."
The act also states that it may not be an offence to have or carry a machete, as long as the owner can provide a legitimate reason as to why they are carrying it.
Cathal Redmond, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice and Equality, confirmed; "Under the 1990 Act, specified offensive weapons are prohibited and it is an offence for any person to manufacture, import, sell, hire or loan such weapons."