5 February 2020
By Elaine Murphy
“I am of course afraid that an acid attack could happen to me, my father, my canvassers or other political candidates here”
Independent candidate in the general election Cllr. Kenneth O’ Flynn says that anyone convicted of an acid attack on another human being or convicted of being in possession of acid for the purposes of using it to attack another person should receive a mandatory 10 year sentence from the courts.
Canvassing in Cork’s Northside which has a huge issue with crime at present, he said the next government needs to radically overhaul the whole sentencing situation here in Ireland.
“I am aware of the Tega Agberhiere case in Waterford where those that have left Tega with horrific burns to his face and back have just received a juvenile caution from the Gardai on what I assume is the suggestion of the Director of Public Prosecutions. I have also been made aware from my canvasses here on Cork’s Northside that acid is in the possession of some people that have stockpiled it for possible use at a later date if they need it. This is completely unacceptable and like having a loaded gun ready to fire at someone if they look crooked at you.”
Cllr. O’ Flynn said that people are genuinely afraid in their own homes here on Cork’s Northside and afraid to leave their children out on our streets here and afraid for them to go into our city centre at night time.
“It is absolutely ridiculous that acid can be in the possession of people for use against another person and also ridiculous that acid can be bought legally in many different outlets. We need greater controls and greater sanctions for people that intend to misuse it or actually go and use it and I want to see tougher sentences of 10 years for this type of activity. We either deter people from committing crimes or we allow them contemplate committing crimes without sanction. I say stop them before they use this lethal stuff,” he said.
Cllr. O’ Flynn continued “this is all about Gardai on the beat, boots on the street and the visibility of our Gardai in our community. It’s just not there and that is a big problem. This is all about action and if elected I will support any new government that supports my view on this topic of addressing once and for all this appalling situation of acid being available or being used to harm and disfigure another human being. It’s like canvassing these days, I’m not embarrassed to say it as I know that I am not liked by everyone and I do think it is possible that an acid attack could happen to me or my father or others who canvass with me or another political candidate and that frightens the life out of me,” he said.