THE brutal beating and setting on fire of a dad of three in Cork yesterday was the latest shocking episode of violent crime to hit our community.
The fatal stabbing of 20-year-old student Cameron Blair on Thursday night had shaken our city and county to the very core.
It is hard to believe these things are continuing to happen in what has always been one of the most peaceful and best-policed cities in the country.
In another incident in recent days, a man in his twenties was taken to hospital with serious injuries having been beaten with a hurley by a group of men in Blackpool.
Separately, blunt instruments, including a hammer, were used to assault two men, also in Blackpool just a few days ago.
Cameron Blair’s death was the sixth violent death in the city since July.
Among these violent deaths was the murder of Frankie Dunne, a homeless man who was savagely killed on Boreenmanna Rd shortly after Christmas. His head and arms were removed.
At least part of this upsurge is connected to illegal drugs. Those who might think of purchasing such drugs should realise the consequences.
Whatever the reason for the crimes, the response from the State must be swift and decisive.
We need significantly more Gardaí on the streets and they must be given all the vehicles, equipment and back-up they need to put perpetrators behind bars for a long time.
The community must be protected.
At the moment people, and particularly parents, are living in fear and worry.
As we report today, many parents fear even letting their children out on the street to play.
Now is the time for action by the government, even in the period before the next administration is chosen.