A robbed shop owner has said thieves in Ireland are treated “too leniently” and called for tougher sentences.
Kay Mulcaire, who owns Isobel’s Boutique in Adare, Limerick, has been robbed twice now, first in 2016 and then again in 2019.
“I was robbed during the night and after I was ram-raided, I upped the security… I made sure it was alarmed every evening when I was leaving,” she told The Pat Kenny Show.
“Half two in the morning, the monitoring station in Dublin rang my mobile and they said the alarm is going off on your source.
“I got up out of bed and drove to Adare, went in, turned off the alarm.”
At first, she did not notice anything amiss but, after she walked around the shop, she noticed something was out of place and she raced back to her car.
A Garda drove out from Limerick but was unable to spend much time at the crime scene.
“While he was there, another alarm went off that he had to go to - on the same night,” Ms Mulcaire said.
“That night there was €120,000 taken and I had to fight with my insurance company for nine months to get that money.”
Overall, she thinks the Government needs to rethink its approach to policing and justice.
“I think they’re too lenient on robberies in Ireland,” she said.
“It just seems to be okay that the store picks up the bill, the restaurant, whatever is being robbed.
“I really think they need longer sentences for these guys.
“Number two, we need Garda on the beat, we need them on the street, we need their presence because it’s too easy for them.”
Pattern of offending
Despite lockdown measures forcing people to stay at home for much of last year, figures released to the Irish Independent revealed that four in 10 Garda stations recorded a rise in criminal activity.
Fine Gael Senator Barry Ward told the show that he believes the trend was influenced by the nature of lockdown.
“Crime is up in certain areas and that’s a worrying development,” Senator Ward said.
“If you look at the spread of crime increase, it is outside the urban areas.
"There’s kind of a migration from urban areas to rural areas.
“Which is consistent with the fact that during lockdown, people weren’t going into urban centres - they were staying in their local community, they were staying in rural areas.
“So, more people, probably means more crime.”
Like Ms Mulcaire, he also believes that the solution for An Garda Síochána is to be more visible.
“The first and foremost thing we need to have is more Gardaí on the beat,” he said.
“Which is why we have seen huge investment in the number of guards and that’s what’s going to solve this problem; it’s Gardaí in the community, in cars, on the beat who are going to detect crime.
“When people feel they’re going to get caught, that’s when they don’t commit crimes.”
Main image: A jewellery shop after a robbery. Picture by: Alamy.com