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O’Dea: Cherry Orchard “louts” must be “taught a lesson”

“Claims that our streets are among the safest in Europe do not pass the smell test.”

That is what Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea said this week in an op-ed for the Irish Independent.

Writing about the Cherry Orchard incident last week, in which a Garda car was repeatedly rammed in Ballyfermot leaving two officers injured, O’Dea said that such “louts” must be “taught a lesson before they get really out of hand.”

“What happened in Cherry Orchard in Dublin last Monday night was shocking, but it was not surprising,” he said.

“It wasn’t surprising to those of us who have warned for months that chronic anti social behaviour is on the rise and going unchecked.”

He added that it was not a surprise to “thousands of decent law-abiding people” who are “tormented daily by feral teenage gangs, who fear no one, least of all the gardaí or the justice system.”

The veteran TD and former minister added that drug gangs were attempting to foster “a new generation of gormless foot soldiers willing to turn their community into a no-go area for law and order, respect, or common decency.”

O’Dea echoed comments by fellow Fianna Fáil backbencher Jim O’Callaghan TD, who said that the best thing for the teenagers involved is to show them that “their actions have consequences” through legal penalties, adding that they need to “pay a price.”

You can read the full Independent article here.

O’Dea’s comments appear to contradict those of his coalition partner, Fine Gael Minister Heather Humphreys who said she “doesn’t accept” that her government is overseeing “total lawlessness.”

The comments were made after Gript asked her to comment on the Cherry Orchard incident, which can be viewed below.



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