Rural Ireland under siege

As more and more Garda stations close around the country, criminal gangs are increasingly free to attack people in their homes, writes Tom McGurk.

21st April, 2012
The sales of alarm systems, locks, CCTV cameras, special lights and even hugely expensive electric gates are one of the few growth industries.

Every night, across rural Ireland, an unknown number (potentially thousands, I suspect) go through an extraordinary ritual before they go to bed. They unlock their steel gun cabinets - these are a legal requirement for holders of the 230,000 legally-held weapons in homes - and remove a shotgun and cartridges from it and bring them up to their bedroom.

The shotgun and cartridges are then placed within easy reach before the gun-owner gets into bed to...

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