The way I see it

Bray People - - NEWS - FR MICHAEL COMMANE

TWO NEWS items caught my at­ten­tion over the Easter pe­riod. On Easter Mon­day li­brar­ian Liz Tur­ley re­ceived se­ri­ous in­juries as her car was stolen in Dublin. The woman was driv­ing into her gated com­plex when a woman and a man set on her and took her car. She seem­ingly gave chase, she was pushed to the ground and sus­tained head in­juries.

In Cork on Good Fri­day Garda Michael Twomey was knocked off his bike by a van, which had been stolen by two young men.

Ms Tur­ley was re­turn­ing from vis­it­ing rel­a­tives on Easter Mon­day and Garda Michael Twomey was at work on his garda bike, in­deed, he was in the process of pro­tect­ing mo­torists from the stolen van.

Both these in­no­cent people re­ceived in­juries at the hands of young crim­i­nals.

Imag­ine the up­set and sad­ness that has caused their fam­i­lies and friends. Any­one who has been close to some­one who has suf­fered trau­matic in­juries will have an in­kling of how the Tur­ley and Twomey fam­i­lies have now been en­gulfed.

And all for what? This sort of in­sane crime is go­ing on ev­ery day, here and all over the world. When we read about it in the pa­pers it is usu­ally just a news item but when it touches us per­son­ally it is dis­as­trous. What’s to be done, how can we try to stop it? There are those who will say that we must go harder on crim­i­nals, oth­ers will say it has to do with de­pri­va­tion and poverty. If any­thing, I am in­clined to think that if people are marginalised and feel alien­ated then they have a far greater propen­sity to go down the road of the crim­i­nal. No, don’t jump at me. It is not at all as sim­ple as that.

On Mon­day be­fore Easter I was com­ing back to my bi­cy­cle, which was locked to a lamp­post, when I no­ticed a young man in his 20s bend­ing down at my bi­cy­cle. I thought he was re­mov­ing the other bike which was also tied to the pole. And then I saw him walk­ing away with my front wheel.

I’m not the qui­etest of souls. I can get ir­ri­tated. Peo- ple of­ten ac­cuse me of be­ing abra­sive. Ob­vi­ously I eas­ily get ex­cited. But when I saw this gent walk away with my wheel, in­stead of roar­ing and shout­ing at him I went up to him and sug­gested that he might have the wheel of my bike and if I could have it back. Maybe it was that I was fright­ened. But the young man ut­tered a few words un­der his breath, left the wheel down on the ground and qui­etly walked away. I was shocked. Shocked for all sorts of rea­sons.

I have since re­moved the quick re­lease mech­a­nism on the wheels and re­placed them with stan­dard nuts.

The most he would have got for the wheel was €20. Is that what his life is about? From the quick look I got of him he may well have been on drugs. What a waste of a life. Where did it be­gin, how did it hap­pen?

What am I do­ing to pre­vent people from get­ting in­volved in crime? What are we all do­ing to make our so­ci­ety a safer and bet­ter place?

“Can we ac­tu­ally help people or will cer­tain people al­ways be vic­tims of their cir­cum­stances? It’s a ques­tion I of­ten ask as I sit in court watch­ing the same young people come back time and time again,” words from a friend of mine when we were dis­cussing the topic.

But I’m back think­ing of Liz Tur­ley and Michael Twomey and their fam­ily and friends.

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