Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Donegal Robbery.

Wednesday, 19 May 1971

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 253 No. 13

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[2001]75.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  asked the Minister for Justice if any report has been received regarding a robbery at a premises (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement in relation thereto.

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  If the Deputy has a specific question to ask about a particular crime, I will see if I can answer it without breach of confidence or without hampering the efforts of the Garda Síochána to investigate it. I could not, however, agree to answer a question in such general terms as this. As the House is aware, thousands of crimes are committed every year.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  I understood that I submitted details of the particular question which relates to the robbery of a jeweller's shop in Ballyshannon on 2nd of this month at 2 a.m. in the morning.

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  I am aware of this incident but I cannot make a general statement about any or every crime committed in the country.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Is the Minister aware that those who are thought to be responsible for this are well known to the gardaí, that they used a 1964 Ford Consul Classic which is about the worst car the Ford empire ever built and that the patrol car——

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  The gardaí have a very good idea, as the Deputy is probably aware, that these people crossed the Border.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  They did, of course, cross the Border, after two of our patrol cars had broken down.

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  That is not correct.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  That is correct.

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  It is not correct.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  The Ballyshannon patrol car which gave chase when the lady who lives in the premises notified the gardaí broke down at——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  A discussion is not in order.

[2002]Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  ——and that furthermore the Letterkenny patrol car which took up the chase in Stranorlar——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  A discussion is now taking place on a question.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Since September of last year, and particularly since January this year, I have been trying to impress on the Minister for Justice the urgency of providing equipment for the gardaí in Donegal——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  The Deputy is making a statement on the matter.

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  Two patrol cars did not break down. One patrol car broke down. Any car, whether a Garda car or not, is liable to break down occasionally.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  I accept that but is the Minister not defending his position when he refuses to provide good patrol cars for the gardaí to perform their duties in the Border county of Donegal when he tells us that any car can break down? Is it not extremely peculiar that the Ballyshannon patrol car broke down at Barnes Gap and that the Letterkenny patrol car, giving chase at Stranorlar, broke down in Killygordon——

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  It did not break down.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Well, what happened? Why did a 1964 Ford Consul outpace two patrol cars? The occupants abandoned it at the Border and walked across——

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  My information is that they did not abandon it.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Of course, they abandoned it.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  Question No. 76.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  This is a very important matter and it is not good enough for the Minister——

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  On a point of order, if I were to go into every single one [2003] of the 30,000 indictable crimes committed in the country I think the House would have no time for any other business.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  We cannot have a discussion on a question.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  I know we cannot have a discussion on every crime but it is damnable that such a situation should be tolerated by the Minister for Justice——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  Question No. 76.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  I am not in favour of promoting a tenant-purchase scheme——

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  On a point of order, the least I expect from the Minister for Justice is simple courtesy.

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  The Chair called Question No. 76 several times.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  The Deputy was allowed a number of supplementary questions.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  I want an assurance from the Minister that the cars supplied to the gardaí will be of such standard that if they go chasing robbers they will be in a reasonable——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  Then the Deputy should put down a specific question to that effect. Question No. 76.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  How could I be more specific than when I give details of the case involved?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  And he could ask the Minister to make a statement on the matter.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  And the Minister refuses.

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  I do refuse to make a statement. I am perfectly within my rights.

[2004]Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  And the Minister denies that two patrol cars for which he is responsible broke down.

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  Two patrol cars did not break down. One patrol car broke down.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Denis Francis Jones  Zoom on Denis Francis Jones  The Deputy is engaging in a discussion. The Chair is calling on the Minister for the next question, No. 76.

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  It is not the Minister's fault if a discussion is taking place.


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