Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Niall Collins has called on the Government to accept the party’s legislation on knife crime following a spate of attacks at the weekend which resulted in the death of a young man and other serious injuries.
Deputy Collins said: “This was a particularly violent weekend involving knives which unfortunately claimed the life of a young man in Dublin and saw others very seriously injured. It’s clear that knife crime is a major issue now and needs to be addressed through specific legislative measures.
“In September Fianna Fáil presented the Criminal Justice (Knife Possession) Bill to the Dáil. It would result in a mandatory minimum 12 months custodial sentence for anyone convicted of illegally carrying a knife in public place.
“The purpose of this Fianna Fáil legislation is intended to be preventative. There has been a surge in incidents involving knives and I think a sub culture has developed among sections of our society, where carrying knives has become common place and I’m concerned we’re going to become conditioned to knife crime.
“Rather than deal with any further increase in the list of people dying in knife attacks, we want to help Gardaí take illegal knives out of circulation in the first place.
“There is an opportunity for the Government to deal with this issue in the weeks ahead and I believe this legislation can and should receive cross party support. The message needs to go out that if you carry a knife illegally, you are committing a serious offence and it will be treated as such.
“I will be raising this issue with the Minister for Justice again. If the Government truly cares about tackling serious crime it will progress this legislation through the Oireachtas.”