Sligo-Leitrim TD says crimes of intimidation and sexual exploitation are more common now in rural Ireland

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Deputy Martin Kenny

Sinn Féin TD for Sligo-Leitrim, Martin Kenny has drawn attention to the recent incidents of violence and intimidation in Mohill, Co Leitrim and called for greater policing focus on crimes of sexual exploitation and trafficking of women.

Deputy Kenny said: “Mohill, a small town in Co Leitrim, has been an example in recent weeks, when there has been much intimidation. Shots have been fired and petrol bombs have been thrown at houses. It is being carried out by a small number of people who, we understand, are involved in the drugs trade.  

“The victims, on the other hand, are innocent people in the community who have nothing to do with any of it. It creates a great sense of anger and resentment among people in many rural towns when they see people threatening and intimidating others," he said.

“They (those involved in this sort of activity) may have a long list of convictions behind them, yet they seem to be able to carry on in this manner with little or no impact from An Garda Síochána, which I know and understand are doing their best in the circumstances."

Deputy Kenny said: "Another area where a renewed focus is needed in many rural towns is crimes of exploitation. I refer particularly to sexual exploitation and brothels, which are jumping up all over the place in many rural towns. It needs to be dealt with but is not being dealt with.

"Young women, many of whom have been trafficked, are being exploited. It needs to be addressed urgently because it has a knock-on effect. While it may be a part of the culture of some parts of Europe, we do not need it in this country. Although it is an illegal activity, the experience to date is that does not seem to receive the kind of attention it deserves.

"It needs attention, however, because it has a knock-on effect leading to further crime and dangerous activity. In particular, for the young women being abused and exploited, it is utterly wrong and deplorable that it continues to happen. The gardaí needs to be given whatever resources are required to stamp it out wherever it happens.”