Thursday 22 February 2018

The hard cell

• I feel sorry for my cat. She convulses in agony every time she tries to dislodge a hairball. Often I feel like her, and this country does it.

The Law Reform Commission's (LRC) opinion that stiffer sentences have not reduced the levels of criminality gives pause for thought. I would assume that there may be other factors leading to that conclusion as well. Demographics have played a huge part in criminality. Our population has soared as the prison system and the gardai have been emasculated.

Unfettered access to the nation has naturally increased the number of those of a criminal persuasion who arrive here. Whilst the vast majority seek only a noble aspiration, ie, a better life, a significant minority seek to achieve that through criminality. Today 20pc of the prison population is non-national.

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