Ireland’s Home Defense Bill will go into effect later this year and will give Irish homeowners the legal right to use guns to defend themselves if they are attacked. This dramatic about face in the Irish government’s gun policy has been brought about by the public outcry over the arrest and conviction of Padraig Nally, a farmer living in County Mayo. Nally shot and killed John Ward, a felon with 80 convictions for assault, burglary, and larceny when Ward attempted to rob this 72-year old farmer back in 2004. Nally was originally sentenced to 6 years in prison after being found guilty of manslaughter. His conviction was overturned a year later.
Under the old law, homeowners were required to retreat from intruders, making anyone who attempted to defend themselves open to criminal charges; hence the prosecution, or was it persecution, of poor Padraig Nally. The new law allows citizens to use reasonable force, including lethal force, to defend themselves. The bill also protects homeowners from potential lawsuits from injured intruders. Considering that violent burglaries in Ireland have risen by 42% in the last two years, is it any wonder that the Irish people have had a belly full of legislated passivity forced onto a law-abiding public.
Dan Hanley, Vice President for the Association of Garda Superintendents and Inspectors had this to say about the new bill:
The bill aims to shift the balance of rights back to the homeowner where it should always have been. It is intolerable a homeowner should be compelled to retreat in front of an intruder who has entered the home and who may have malign intentions towards the homeowner, the family, or the home owner’s property.
And some sanity resurfaces across the pond.