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Gerry O'Carroll: Why I'd use a shotgun on an armed burglar

WOULD i use a shotgun on a burglar?

Simple. Yes I would.

I'd do it if I felt my life was in danger or that he would hurt my family. Then I'd have no problem on turning a gun on the intruder.

I think a homeowner is also entitled to use force if the intruder is armed.

I only speak for myself here. But I've no doubt I'd stand up for my property and family. All my career on the garda has made me determined to stand up for myself.

I'd have to live with the consequences of wounding or blowing away the criminal. But my conscience would be clear.

I'll tell you why. If the burglar comes into your home and is armed, he should not be protected by the law.

That's why the new home owners bill is not a minute too soon.

In my former career as a garda I often dealt with the ludicrous aftermath of burglaries where injured criminals sought and were granted civil redress in the courts.

We have a lot to thank Mayo farmer Padraig Nally for - after all it was his actions which ultimately led to the introduction of the law.

Frog

Nally remember was convicted of the manslaughter of the despicable Frog War - a man who habitually intruded on his property.

Nally was living alone and was subjected to constant harassment before he eventually snapped and shot Ward dead.

He was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to six years in jail, but his conviction was later overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Under the new law, a householder will at last be allowed to use all reasonable force to protect his home, the lives of his family and his property against intruding criminals.

He may also use weapons such as legally held firearms or lethal force against the intruder, and it will be a matter for the courts to decide if force was necessary.

When this bill was first mooted there was the usual howl of complaint by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties. The organisation feared this would be a charter for have-a-go-heroes in the home.

The Lefties are more concerned with the rights of marauding intruders than the fears of law-abiding homeowners.

Make no mistake, Ireland is well behind other countries in this regard.

In other jurisdictions, a man's home is his castle and he has every right to defend it.

The new bill will finally send the signal to law breakers that they can no longer violate the sanctity of a home with impunity. Civil rights will not be compromised.

Hammers

Burglary is a violent crime that often ends in tragic circumstances, and burglars are becoming more dangerous and violent.

These days, there are often high on drink or drugs when they carry out their deeds.

As Padraig Nally pointed out this week, most are armed with the tools of the trade such as knives, hammers and screwdrivers, and they aren't afraid to use them.

At last the scales have finally tipped in favour of the householder.

Reckless criminals must now realise that they can no longer break into homes without fear, especially if they plan to walk back out in one piece.

And when the bill finally becomes law, honest and decent people will be able to sleep soundly in their beds at night, knowing that, at long last, the law is on their side.

But when I say I'd use a gun I can only speak for myself.

You would have to be able to live with yourself afterwards and not everyone could do that.

In each case, the householder must decide whether to confront an intruder with force or fall back on the old adage that discretion is the better part of valour.

This is no Rambo charter for people who want to take the law into their own hands.

Ban stunt car imbeciles for 10 years minimum

IT must be the most disturbing video I've viewed in many years. I was utterly appalled to see the footage of young men engaged in "driving" stunts in Tipperary, photographs of which were published yesterday in this newspaper.

I'm not talking about boisterous youthful exuberance or harmless fun. These dare-devil stunts were acts of sheer dangerous criminality, and it's a miracle nobody was killed.

These dumb fools have engaged in suicidal antics with their car tricks and have put the lives of innocent road users in mortal danger.

On any normal day, their escapades would be worthy of condemnation, but coming in the aftermath of the dreadful carnage in Donegal last week it is doubly horrific.

Today, there are eight families in the Inishowen peninsula grieving the loss of the men who died in the country's worst ever car crash.

It was a tragedy that sent shockwaves through the country, but one that apparently bypassed the mindless imbeciles in this video.

Terrified

In one scene, a driver is shown sticking his legs out the car window. In another frame, terrified drivers and cyclists shuttle past, lucky to escape with their lives.

Clearly, the message of the Donegal tragedy hasn't made an impact on these yobs. Indeed, the AA's Conor Faughnan wasn't too far wide of the mark when he called them Ireland's dumbest criminals.

I sincerely hope the gardai can identify these brainless fools and have them named and shamed in front of the whole country. Each should be banned from driving for a minimum of 10 years.

Alas, this shocking footage also illustrates the uphill battle that lies ahead for the Road Safety Authority, the AA and the gardai.

Despite the mounting body count, the message is still bypassing some people.

Tragically, this means we must brace ourselves for further carnage on our roads.

Our Molly Malone a lady of the night? That's just a cartload of codswallop

Is nothing sacred anymore? I was left open-mouthed in shock when I heard that one of our most beloved figures had come under attack from Welsh enemies. I'm talking, of course, about Molly Malone, the Dublin fishmonger who has always enjoyed a special place in the hearts of citizens of the capital.

This fictional character has often been hit with scurrilous rumour and attacks on her morals, yet we never believed a word of it. As an honorary Dub who lived in the capital for 40 years, I've never believed that "tart with the cart" portrayal of her.

Now it seems we have found the perpetrator of these vicious rumours. Across the water in Wales, a songbook has been uncovered that attempts to tarnish our girl's pure reputation.

We know Molly was a hard-working, good-living honest girl, but the version of the song in this book paints her as a lady of the night. I reckon this ditty is a savage attack by a disaffected Welshman who obviously had a bad time down in the red light district of Monto two centuries ago.

True Dubs will know that Molly was a paragon of virtue who sold her wares on the street. And by "wares" I mean the cockles and mussels that she ladled out to the hungry populace of Dublin. And only that.


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