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Police pen shortage threatens Irish public order

Judge warns Limerick gardaí to stock up sharpish

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An Irish judge has expressed concerns that a police biro shortage may pose a serious threat to public order in Limerick.

According to the Irish Independent, several miscreants have been dragged before the beak for "engaging in a threatening and abusive manner" in the public office at Henry Street gardaí station as a result of the paucity of police pens.

In one case heard by Judge Eugene O'Kelly, the accused had rolled up at the station "to sign on as a condition of his bail relating to a separate matter". However, when he was told there was no biro available, and that he should go and get his own biro, he became "aggressive", and started giving the garda some verbal abuse.

Judge O'Kelly decried: "It's not acceptable that people, who are coming in to sign on in compliance with their bail, are being told to go away and return with their own biro."

The judge said he'd raised the matter before, and insisted that "if cases continue to come before the court arising from the lack of biros at Henry Street gardaí station, he will consider not granting applications to include a signing-on condition when granting suspects bail". ®

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