Aontú Leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has stated that the position of the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee is no longer tenable and that she should go.

He told Meath Live, “The scenes in our capital last Thursday were shocking and appalling and mark a dark new departure in the life of our nation. The horrific criminal attack on innocent children stunned and traumatised many who witnessed it. The subsequent scenes of criminal thuggery and vandalism in the capital are at a level that I have never seen before. The centre of our capital was in utter chaos for hours with property undergoing massive danger.  The lives of citizens and Gardaí were also under massive threat. The Government lost control of our capital with all of the damage that that entails”.

“Helen McEntee has tried to mitigate what happened last week by saying that it was contained in a very small area. The attacks on these children and the attacks on our capital last night were no small thing. This violent breakdown of law and order in our capital is an enormous crisis. The running down of the Gardaí numbers to its lowest level in 5 years is an enormous crisis. The lack of a minimum custodial sentence for attacking a Garda is an enormous crisis. The failure of Garda intelligence on those behind this riot is of enormous consequence. The lack of preparation by the government is an enormous issue. It is impossible to have confidence in the Minister for Justice with these scenes of our capital beaming across the world”.

“The Minister for Justice has been distracted by the Culture Wars for a long period of time forgetting about the bread and butter issues that have been plaguing our communities. The Minister has been distracted by the political bubble and has forgotten about the concerns of real people. Yesterday was an outlier in the life of our country, so far, but crime, unprovoked violence, sexual assault and murder has been steadily increasing in towns and villages across the country for some time while at the same time Garda numbers, welfare and morale have been collapsing. Our prisons are full and thugs have been allowed to rack up multiple convictions without custody”.

“The bravery of the passers-by, who intervened during the knife attack and the Gardaí who stood in the breech last night must be commended. Aontú has introduced a Bill into the Dáil which would guarantee a minimum custodial sentence for anyone guilty of a violent attack on a Garda. This must be passed through by the Dáil immediately. The violent thugs who smashed up our city yesterday need to be condemned out of hand. They do not represent the people of Ireland. Most people want to help those who are fleeing violence and war. But most people want migration to be dealt with in a sustainable and managed manner. Many decent people have concerns over the government’s policy and these concerns must be addressed respectfully with cool calm heads”.