Can our juvenile system keep children from a life of crime?
Emer O'Kelly asks if the sentencing last week of three young men for violent assault was inevitable
So what exactly did he mean? On Tuesday last, Mr Justice Patrick McCartan sentenced three men in their 20s in the Circuit Court. Two years ago the men had been trying to mug another man in central Dublin.
Two American tourists, a New York stockbroker called Garth Russell and his brother Patrick, intervened. The three thugs followed them and attacked them with bottles from an adjacent skip. Mr Russell still has a piece of glass embedded in his face, and is permanently scarred. His brother suffered a broken arm in the attack.
Of the three men before Mr. Justice McCartan, one had 26 previous convictions; another had eight previous convictions. The third had 69 previous convictions.