The punishment fits the crime


Personal injury awards aside, I would have assumed our judiciary was well, judicious, when handing down sentences to convicted criminals.

On closer inspection this appears not to be the case.

Yesterday Gary Burch was given 5 years (with 2 suspended) by Judge Mary Ellen Ring for the violent killing of journalist Eugene Moloney.

Andrew Farrell (with 18 previous convictions) gets a 5 year suspended sentence from Judge Mary Ellen Ring for breaking into a woman’s house armed with a sword and threatening to chop up her son.

Judge Garrett Sheehan handed down a 7 year suspended sentence to a man who raped his 14 year old sister in law, with the rationale that a jail sentence would impose hardship on the rapist’s family.

There appears to be very little consistency when it comes to sentencing and mitigating factors can often carry excessive weight.

Finally take the case of grocer Paul Begley who was given a 6 year jail sentence for failing to pay tax on the importation of garlic.

Now ask yourself, who is the greater threat to the Irish public?

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