A senior Garda has expressed concerns that a new approach is needed to deal with persistent re-offenders.
The Garda, who has served more than 20 years in Donegal and asked not to be named, was commenting on the death in Germany this week of Enda McLaughlin.
The 27 year old from Glentogher, Carndonagh, stabbed three people then ran into traffic on a motorway. The deceased had a history of convictions in Donegal, including one for assault causing harm in 2010. In that incident, he stabbed a man with a broken bottle and prevented people going for help.
The Garda commented: “A number of my colleagues and myself had discussed his case in the past and we all agreed that he would end up killing someone. He even said it himself, in Carndonagh in 2010.”
On that occasion, Mr McLaughlin rang the guards asking them to arrest him because he was afraid he would stab and kill his girlfriend.
“There are times when therapy is not the solution and the safety of the public has to be paramount,” the Garda told the Democrat.
He believes some repeat offenders need to spend longer in prison but that a number of factors are working against that.
“There is a law sitting there allowing the State to take money from the dole payment for warrant monies not paid, instead of those people going to prison. If that law was enforced, it would free up places in prisons.”
Enda McLaughlin’s family said he was let down by the mental health system. His sister Ellen McDaid told the Irish Daily Star, “Enda needed help and he never got it.
“He once begged a judge to shoot him when he was in court as he thought that was the only way he could get his problems fixed.”
She said he had been working in Germany and was happy there.
Enda’s father Pat said: “He was a happy-go-lucky boy. My son was a good young man. But he did not get the help he needed and deserved.”