Tyre slasher vandalising car with pro-choice sticker caught on CCTV

Tyre slasher vandalising car with pro-choice sticker caught on CCTV
A stab mark on a car parked on South Mall which had a pro-choice sticker in the window

CCTV footage of a man slashing the tyres of a car bearing a pro-choice sticker in the city centre has been obtained by gardaí as they investigate a spate of similar attacks.

It’s feared the culprit is an anti-abortion extremist who is targeting cars with pro-choice stickers from last year’s Repeal the Eighth referendum.

The Evening Echo reported yesterday that gardaí were looking into seven cases of criminal damage to cars across the north side of the city, but another victim of the tyre-slasher has now emerged on South Mall in the city centre.

CCTV footage from the South Mall incident showed a lone man targeting a car and slashing all four tyres in approximately 20 seconds.

Superintendent Mick Comyns said gardaí are investigating the idea that the incidents are linked but said it was still unclear. Gardaí are putting on additional patrols in areas affected.

The woman whose car was targeted on South Mall said that she was nervous and afraid after seeing the footage.

“It was one guy in a tracksuit with a scarf over his face. He came up and stabbed the four tyres. It was very quick. It was scary. He knew exactly which car he was going for.”

“I think he had picked it out and came back. It was very aggressive.”

A broken wing mirror on a car parked on South Mall which had a pro-choice sticker in the window
A broken wing mirror on a car parked on South Mall which had a pro-choice sticker in the window

She said that another individual left a note on her car saying that similar incidents had occurred in other parts of the city and alerted her to the link being made between the slashing of tyres and the pro-choice stickers.

“Stubbornness would make you want to leave the sticker there, but I park in town and it is going to cost me €400 to fix the tyres so I’m just going to take it down.”

She said that she had hesitations about putting the sticker on her car last year, as she said the abortion issue is very heated but said she thought people should be more tolerant.

“I think it is a little sad and it is a sign of the times,” she said.

Luke Field, deputy chair of Together for Yes in Cork during the referendum, believes that tensions have flared up since new abortion laws came into effect last month, citing other instances where people have been intimidated or had their personal information leaked by anti-abortion activists.

He said that vandalism did not reflect the majority of no voters, but added: “There is and always was an element of extremism. We are seeing that lashing out now.”

Mr Field called the vandalism “thuggish”.

“It should be safe to express your opinion in a democracy. Thuggery tactics to make people feel they can’t express their opinion is worrying,” he said.

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