Mattie McGrath angry as government rejects bill

A bid to provide legislation to clampdown on rampant metal theft throughout the country has been shot down.

In the Dail last Friday Deputy Mattie McGrath’s Precious Metals Bill was opposed by the government and the vote was adjourned until yesterday afternoon in the Dail.

“It will be defeated because the government came out against it on Friday,” said a very disappointed Deputy McGrath.

He moved the bill last Friday and Minister of State Paschal Donoghue spoke on behalf of the Department of Justice.

Deputy McGrath said he received strong support from TDs on the matter and was frustrated that the government could not see its way to passing the bill into law.

The South Tipperary TD believed he had gone some distance in addressing issues with the proposal when he spoke to Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald on the matter some weeks ago.

“The government however said they had a number of issues with the prosal including who was going to pay for the implementation of it. It is a setback after all of the work that had gone into this and the increasing criminal activity all over the country with the theft of previous metals,” said Deputy McGrath.

He said that every area was affected by the crime. The post box was stolen from Goatenbridge on Saturday night in the latest metal raid in this area.

“There is not a road sign left in Tipperary. Tourists are going around the roads not knowing which direction to take because the signs have disappeared,” he said.

He thought the government would have realised the need for such legislation given that 1,000 beer kegs had been recovered by gardai as part of a massive Europe wide crack down on metal theft in the build up to the Dail debate on the issue.

“There has been a spate of metal tehft over the past few years with organised criminals onthe rampage and they have to be stopped,” he said.




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