Rural Welcome On Self Defence Proposals

A leading representative group for rural Ireland has welcomed new proposals giving more powers to individuals in their use of self defence.

Irish Rural Link (IRL), a network campaigning for sustainable rural communities, said changes to the current law would be welcomed by rural communities and would "counter a growing sense of helplessness in rural areas".

The Law Reform Commission is recommending the new self defence law that could potentially allow a person kill in certain circumstances if defending themselves, their family or their home.

It is just one recommendation contained in the Commission's draft Criminal Law Bill to be published by Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern later today.

It is believed the support from the rural community stems from the case October 2004 when Co Mayo farmer Padraig Nally shot dead John 'Frog' Ward while acting in self defence.

Mr Nally was sentenced for six years for manslaughter but served 11 months of that term when he was acquitted after it was accepted that he acted in self defence.

Today the Irish Rural Link Chief Executive Seamus Boland said the changes would provide certainty on the rights of homeowners to defend their property.

"Removing any ambiguity around the rights of homeowners in their own homes and ensuring they are able to protect themselves and their families is important," Mr Boland said.

He added: "The most effective way to deter robberies and those who intend to harm others remains ensuring that they are fearful of being caught, prosecuted and convicted."

The Commission is also recommending that gardaí and prison officers be allowed use lethal force when doing their job such as when making arrests, dealing with serious public disorders or preventing prison escapes.

However, it clearly states that the use of force be only allowed used as a defence when it is necessary and proportionate.


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

14 April 2014
'Energising Ireland’s Rural Economy' Report Published
The Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas (CEDRA) report, "Energising Ireland’s Rural Economy", has been launched by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
14 May 2014
Govt Urged To Produce Economic Development Plan For Rural Ireland
The government has been urged to produce a clear policy for economic development in rural Ireland following a Commission for the Economic Development for Rural Areas (CEDRA) recommendation that support for rural Ireland should be "reinvigorated".
13 April 2016
Defence Forces Recruitment Campaign Launched
A new recruitment campaign has been launched for the Permanent Defence Forces, by Minister for Defence Simon Coveney. The Defence Forces plan to induct just over 600 general service personnel to the Permanent Defence Force in 2016 and a further 850 personnel in 2017.
07 October 2010
Irish Defence Forces 'Undefunded'
There has been an admission that the Irish defence forces are not being funded as fully as they could be.
29 August 2013
Council Staff To Undergo Mandatory Self-Defence Training
Cork City Council has ordered mandatory self-defence training for all its frontline staff members. It is understood that the local authority has taken the decision, the first of its kind by any authority, following a number of complaints from staff who deal face-to-face with the public and have received threats and been intimidated.