Calls to cut social welfare for people who took part in the Dublin riots are ‘nonsense’, according to Ciara Kelly.
The Newstalk Breakfast host was speaking after a number of Fine Gael ministers called for people convicted of involvement in the violence to be 'punished financially'.
Minister of State Patrick O'Donovan suggested many of the rioters are in bed while the rest of the country is working and called for them to have their welfare stopped for taking part.
He also called for them to face the toughest sentences possible.
Ciara said people should face tough sentences - but it is nonsense to suggest cutting welfare.
"They held the capital to ransom; they destroyed property, they burnt our public transport system," she said.
"O'Connell Street was still smouldering the next day after this.
"We heard yesterday from a business owner on Abbey Street who cowered in a basement for two hours while they ransacked his shop."
Ciara said harsh sentences should be used as a deterrent and to punish people for what they do.
"I think it's a nonsense to suggest we should cut people's social welfare," she said.
"One of the issues that feeds into this kind of behaviour is deprivation and poverty, and we do need to recognise and acknowledge that.
"Making people poorer and making people worse-off and disenfranchising people more by cutting social welfare I think would only exacerbate the problem, I think it would backfire."
'Sentences are proportionate'
Fellow presenter Shane Coleman said we shouldn't lose the run of ourselves.
"Talk is cheap and you get a lot of hot air at times like this," he said.
"Action is needed, we need a proper policing plan for Dublin city centre.
"This sort of, 'Lock 'em up and throw away the key stuff' as well is nonsense.
"We have prison sentences that are proportionate, and they will be handed out if people are found guilty.
"We do have a rule of law in this country, we've a system of law, we shouldn't throw everything out."
Ciara said she disagrees that proportionate sentences are being handed out.