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Calls for extra prisons to be built to combat crime

The absence of proposals for a prison building programme in Project Ireland 2040 is a glaring omission driven by an ill-judged, soft criminal justice system, Renua Ireland has warned.

The party want to see extra prisons built to house more criminals and take them off our streets.

They say: “If we are to implement what the people want, namely tough long-term prison sentences for hardened criminals you need prisons.

“The failure of Project Ireland 2040 to include a single extra prison space is an indication that the states elite are intent on continuing the current failed soft slipper policies on criminal justice.

“If this state was serious about tackling the cartels, the Kinahans, the Hutches and the criminals who terrorise rural Ireland, somewhere in the multi-billion Euro blizzard of promises there would be one extra prison space.

“Renua Ireland would like to stress that not every crime merits prison time. There are, however, more than enough dangerous serial criminals in Ireland to merit the building of an additional prison.

“This would particularly be the case if the courts and the judiciary lived up to their responsibilities to imprison those who pose a threat to the lives of rural and urban dwellers alike.

“The looting of Lidl and attacks on Gardai indicate that we are in a state where crime, despite all the fanciful statistics, is getting the upper hand.

“It represents political negligence of the most serious sort to continue to neglect the protection of citizens.  High walls and steel bars are the best location for criminals.

“We note that as far back as twenty years ago the state under then Justice Minister, Michael McDowell realised that a new prison was needed in Thornton Hall.

“Since then the only thing Thornton Hall has housed is weeds, rabbits and tax-payers cash.

“It is a fitting monument to a drastic failure in state policy that must now be reversed with some of the €116 billion in monopoly money in Project 2040.

“Under this government the only bars criminals are seeing is lounge bars.

“It’s time to change this by planning, preparing and providing for the provision of a new prison.’’

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.