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Toughen up knife-crime punishment

The stabbing of five people in a row at a house in Dublin early yesterday is truly horrifying. The brandishing and use of knives in disputes must incur the toughest possible response by the authorities.

While none of the five stabbing victims lost their lives in this incident, knives are lethal weapons and their use in such circumstances cannot be tolerated in any way.

Too often, court cases have heard evidence of people rushing to arm themselves with a knife when disputes turn ugly.

In too many cases, juries heard the gruesome details of the deadly wounds inflicted.

Remorse is usually offered by defence lawyers as another family sits in a courtroom after hearing of the fatal stabbing of their loved one.

But the introduction of a knife into any fraught situation must always be punished severely, whatever the outcome.