The Kilkenny Journal

Thursday, 17th August 2017
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Items filtered by date: Friday, 11 October 2013

Friday, 11 October 2013 15:13

ROMA Rampant in Kilkenny.

 Recent years has seen an unprecedented influx of foreign beggars into Ireland. They mostly come from the Roma Gypsy community, and they work as part of organised criminal gangs that are involved in street begging and other illegal activities. The problem of begging brings with it other related crimes such as pickpocketing, theft and mugging. Tourists, the elderly and trusting members of the public are common targets.

Roma Gypsy beggars are to be found in most major town in Ireland, but the capital Dublin has witnessed begging on a scale not known in living memory. And Kilkenny is now as bad. It has become the largest gathering of petty criminals ever experienced on the island of Ireland. It is hardly possible now to walk down any street in any Irish town and not be confronted by it. Those among the Irish who were worst off economically and socially, and who lived on the margins of society, had not up to a few years ago involved themselves in begging, being content instead with social welfare payments and other hand-outs they received. However, that all changed as they witnessed the activities of the Roma Gypsy beggars, and the fact that they went unchallenged by the state, the courts or the Garda. As a consequence, the Irish have taken the lead from the Roma and are now just as vigorously involved in street begging as the foreign professionals, although not on the same organised basis.

The whole situation has developed progressively and alarmingly as Irish people watch in helpless annoyance. They have seen the whole atmosphere and sense of safety slowly degrade before their eyes. Its unpleasant spectre is everywhere and has started to impact on the commercial life of city centre business.

The Irish state bears a large responsibility for this upsurge in crime against its own people. Not only has it done nothing meaningful to counter the problem, it has effectively enabled and encouraged it by providing millions of euro in funding to the criminal Roma gangs that have caused it. This has, of course, been indirect payments made to 'families', but these are the very same people engaged in this form of crime. The State has casually paid out enormous amounts of cash without even the simple condition: 'We will pay you vast sums of money: we only insist that you do not commit crime against us.'

The result of the efforts - or lack of it - from Europe's weakest and most inept politicians can now be seen on every street corner in Dublin, and in every begging cup. It is something that Irish politicians expect that we put up with, quietly and without complaint. Meanwhile, we fund it. We pay the price in tax and in crime. By now, it is a price that has become too high.

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