During the past few days, Ireland has been gripped by severe weather with both Storm Emma and the so-called ‘Beast From The East’ battering our little country. Social media has been awash with a mix of multi-coloured warnings, snowman pics, snow humour and random acts of kindness. However with all good things inevitably comes bad.
On Friday night a video was posted of a Lidl store in the Fortunestown Lane area being looted with people carrying out crates of beer among other items. Roadways to the entrance were reportedly blocked preventing and delaying any response from Gardaí. Those being filmed in the act were both young and old, male and female.
While some were venting their anger and disgust online, others were busy commandeering a mechanical digger with the intention of destroying the
evidence store itself. Various Snapchat stories showed youths inside the store, those outside, later on, taking it to the next level were much older. Let’s face it, if you want to level an entire German discount supermarket, you need to know your way around some heavy machinery.
With Garda resources already stretched assisting those in actual need, this was mindless, moronic vandalism at its finest. Dare a teenager to break into and rob a huge local store on a balmy Summer evening and you will likely be told to get lost. Dare a grown man to steal heavy machinery and attempt to demolish a building, you’ll be told to jog on. Do it when the snow is your incentive/excuse and it’s fair game.
So who is to blame? Let me be clear, I myself am from Tallaght, was raised there, educated there and called it home for my entire life. Tallaght and the people themselves often get tarred with the same brush. Having grown up there I can honestly say that the residents are hard-working, friendly, honest, good people. Mostly.
I say mostly as with all areas, there is a minority who couldn’t care less about morals, people, property or consequences. Since this disgraceful incident, everyone from Fine Gael, the Banks and even Lidl themselves have been blamed. “The government don’t have enough Gardaí available”, “Lidl are a money-grabbing corporation who rob people every day” were just a few oppinions being floated about online.
It may be a great ‘buzz’ for these people to commit random criminal acts at the time, however, they can wake up in the morning safe in the knowledge that they have deprived hard working people of their jobs, local people of their discount shop and countless producers and small businesses of their trade.
For all those wondering who these young thugs are, they include a 48-year-old father of two with the rest of the men ranging in age from 21 to 47 throwing the ‘parents are to blame’ argument pretty much out of the window.
These people do not represent the people of Tallaght nor their character and morals. I can only hope they face the full extent of the law, which they won’t. There is never an excuse for such thuggish, barbaric behaviour regardless of weather or geographical location.