Last line of defence

Attacks against older people have paved the way for new ‘stand and shoot’ laws, but critics remain unconvinced that homeowners should have the right to use potentially lethal force against intruders

20th February, 2010

When 90-year-old Winifred Cahill heard a noise in her house, she thought it was her son Seamus returning from working on the family farm. It was 3pmon a bright autumn day at the family’s home in Bree, Co Wexford. She called out: ‘‘Is that you, Seamus?” but did not hear the reply she expected.

A young man called back, in a taunting voice: ‘‘I have your money.” He repeated the...

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