Home Owners should feel safer thanks to enactment of law on defence of the home – Deering

16th January, 2012

Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has today (Monday) said that home owners in Carlow and across the country should feel safer, following the enactment of new legislation which provides greater protection to people who find themselves confronted by an intruder in their own home.

“Many people in rural and isolated areas have felt increasingly vulnerable in recent years. A number of high profile cases of house break-ins which saw elderly people being attacked in their own homes left people feeling uncertain about their rights.

“But now, thanks to this new Criminal Law (Defence and the Dwelling) Act 2011, greater clarity has been provided when it comes to the defence of the home. Importantly, for the first time the Act states that a person may use reasonable force to defend their home.

“With this new law, reasonable force can be used to protect your family and your home and to prevent the commission of a crime or to make a lawful arrest. Anyone who finds themselves as the victim of a break-in should of course immediately contact the Gardaí. But this may not always be possible.

“Under this new law, if your home is broken into you are not obliged to retreat, and if reasonable force is used the homeowner cannot be sued for damages by a burglar and will not be guilty of an offence. This is a positive move and its only right that people can feel safe in their own homes, and safe in the knowledge that they have the right to protect and defend their home.