Posted by Minister for Rough Justice on January 26, 2000 at 20:18:48:
There are a few possible solutions or perspectives here as I see it
Not so long ago when I was an adoloscent in Castlebar there were trouble makers and bully's too and the surprising thing is when their hormones righted themselves (for most of them about 18-19 but with others a bit later) they generally copped themselves on a bit more. Not all of them did but a lot of the biggest troublemakers in the town did, and I would say that many of them are no longer in Castlebar, They've made a ok life for themselves away from Castlebar and away from the cronies they used hand round with who egged each other on in the wolf pack mentality all trying to impress each other with their bravado. And I remember the cries at the time of "Shame and they come from such a nice family"
Course here in this situation there is a question over home life too? Apparently one of these troublemakers was brought home by the Gardai at 2am only for them to discover his/her parent's weren't home either.
So in this context there's a possible argument to be made for making the parents financially and legally responsible for any property damage their kids do.
Secondly instead of sending them to St Pat's let them serve their punishment in Community Works amongst the people they slighted in Castlebar. Cleaning up the town, Doing the really nasty shittiest work available and in full view and under the supervision of the people they have damaged so that "justice is seen to be done" and all that (And not like mallett head having to train with the GAA 3 times a week)
Thirdly the argument of "Bored Young Adolocents with nothing to do" doesn't really gel. We all get bored in Castlebar from time to time. It's predominantly our own fault, not anyone elses, It's got a hell of a lot more amenities than many towns of it's size be they free or for a small fee (These kids can apparently affoard drink and cigarettes and dope/E) and being bored is absolutely no excuse for lack of respect for the property of others. That's just a lame excuse and a justificcation by the "do gooders" the world over just to get a dig in at the local authority. There are plenty of people living in Aughleam or even 4 miles from Castlebar that have much more reason to plead boredom than those of Castlebar but they're not running riot.
And finally, if all else fails, Yeah I think a vigilante "scare" for these young thugs would do them no harm. A few big local lads, get their balaclava's and their dark clothes and sneak down to the bridge some night and give these guys a gentle warning and maybe a few enforcing slaps and if that doesn't work come back again with baseball bats. (it's no different really from what the "Big Guard" was perfectly legally able to do up to about 20 years ago but hich he's not necassirily able to do now either)
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