Homeowners need to know their rights


East Galway TD Paul Connaughton said that he has contacted the Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner this week following meetings with concerned residents from south Galway who are seeking both an increased Garda presence and information on their rights in the event of a robbery at their property.

‘In recent weeks, there has been a spate of break-ins in South Galway and for the first time in my clinics I have repeatedly been asked by home owners about what exactly their rights are in the event of coming upon intruders in their home. It shows a level of fear in these areas, both urban and rural, and a level of confusion about the rights of property owners.

‘I believe that the law needs to be strengthened to protect householders who find themselves the victim of a robbery and greater resources are needed to tackle the scourge of these roving gangs. In the past ten days I have spoken to two individuals in my clinics who found themselves the victims of such burglaries. Both spoke of the fear and trauma experienced by them, their families and neighbours and questioned what rights are open to them in the event of a burglary.

‘I have taken this issue up with both the Garda Commissioner and the Minister for Justice, to highlight the need for increased protection and Garda presence in these areas and the need to tackle the mobile gangs who are behind these robberies. However, I also feel that the Commissioner and Minister need to clearly state what options are open to householders to defend their properties and their families.’