Offaly councillor says weak justice system led to Tullamore church attack

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Offaly councillor says weak justice system led to Tullamore church attack

Offaly councillor says weak justice system led to Tullamore church attack

RENUA leader and Offaly County Councillor, John Leahy, has said the attack on a local Church of Ireland Church in Tullamore is "an assault on all our civic values."

St. Catherine's Church in Tullamore sustained around €70,000 of damage last week, prompting gardaí into an investigation. 

"The breaking of 104 windows is indicative of the coarsening of our society by a liberal elite who teach us it’s fine to attack Churches and a failed legal system which imposes no sanctions on criminals," Leahy claimed.

"This attack sends a terrible message to our fellow Irish Protestants across the border who believe they will become a threatened minority in a united Ireland," he added.

"It is, of course, the creature of a scenario where even the common vandal is becoming brave because there are no consequences to committing a crime anymore."

"The Gardai need more resources to catch criminals, judges won’t jail the ones we do get and there are no prisons to accommodate them."

"The desecration of this church is the culmination of the tolerance for lawlessness which has been characteristic of this government."

"Their message to criminals is that court is a place for counselling tea and sympathy for the guilty and a slap in the face for victims," Leahy continued.

"The current policy of the Justice system is one of ‘as many strikes as you like,’ closing Garda stations, a police force in retreat from rural Ireland in order to police urban areas, bail not jail and open unpoliced roads that allow criminals to attack rural Ireland and then retreat with impunity," he claimed.

"If we are to stop attacks such as the desecration of our Churches we must become tougher on crime, equip the Gardai with real powers and review our sentencing legislation."

The right to personal safety is a greater right and we should be having a referendum on this, not blasphemy. Towns should not have to turn into armed camps with CCTV on every building representing the only deterrent."

"The real deterrents should instead consist of capture and punishment."

"If we fail to create such an ordered society these acts of blasphemy will become the norm rather than the exception," Leahy concluded.