Right to stand your ground
THE new home defence bill, to be introduced by the Government in the autumn, settles some controversial questions surrounding the rights of householders to defend themselves, their families and their homes.
It clarifies the existing law rather than changing it, but it is no less significant for that. For several years, ever since the Nally case in Mayo, doubts have prevailed in people's minds about their rights when confronted by intruders. The new legislation should clear this up once and for all.
If the legislation succeeds in its objective, Justice Minister Dermot Ahern is to be congratulated. Most people of common sense will approve, and the Fine Gael spokesman on justice, Alan Shatter, has already endorsed it.