A retired Limerick Detective Garda has called on the supermarket chain Lidl to remove a "knife assortment" from its shelves.
The “knife assortment” which is retailing at Lidl for €5.99, includes a “pocket knife” with “21 practical functions” that includes a “saw” type blade.
Retired detective Sean Lynch said: “These are not your general run-of-the-mill house knives/kitchen knives; these are far from that; certainly, and Lidl should take them off the shelves,” said Mr Lynch, who is also a former mayor of the Metropolitan District of Limerick.
“Knives are a serious weapon, simple as. This needs to be highlighted - because we can’t be saying we need to be combatting knife crime, and then we have a general store that’s popular with a lot of people is selling these type of knives at this price.”
Mr Lynch said knife crime is “a national problem” and highlighted how the government plans to introduce legislation before Christmas, whereby a judge would be able to impose sentences of up to 10 years for an offence of carrying a knife “with intent”.
The current maximum sentence for carrying a knife is five years.
Flick knives are already banned in Ireland. However, James Browne, Minister of State, Department of Justice, has expressed concerns about so-called “zombie knives”, which due to their saw action blade can cause extremely serious injuries or death if they are pulled out of a person.
A Lidl spokeswoman said: “Our Crivit Knife Assortment is part of our camping and outdoor activity range which we sell on a promotional basis similar to many outdoor activity stores on the high street.”
“Of course, the safety of our customers is always our top priority, and we do have a policy in place that states that it is prohibited to sell a knife or sharp object to anyone under 18,” she added.
“If a customer wishes to purchase such an item, our employees are instructed to ask for ID,” the spokeswoman said.