Attacks on cars of pro-choice supporters investigated by gardaí

Six cars with ‘Repeal the Eighth’, ‘Together for Yes’ stickers had tyres slashed, mirrors and wipers broken

Gardai believe all six attacks are connected and targeted at people who supported repealing the Eighth Amendment . Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Gardai believe all six attacks are connected and targeted at people who supported repealing the Eighth Amendment . Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Attacks on six cars belonging to pro-choice supporters are being investigated by gardaí in Cork.

Tyres were slashed, wing mirrors and windshields were broken in a series of incidents.

Gardai in Mayfield confirmed to The Irish Times they were investigating the attacks on six cars bearing “Together for Yes” and “Repeal the Eighth” stickers on Wellington Road, the Glen, Old Yougal Road and St Luke’s areas of the city’s northside over two weekends.

“Some of the cars had all four tyres slashed while others had their wipers and their wing mirrors broken. The fact it happened over two nights as well leads us to believe that all six attacks are connected and targeted at people who supported repealing the Eighth Amendment” said a Garda spokesman.

The referendum to appeal the Eighth Amendment passed in May 2018, removing Ireland’s constitutional ban on abortion by a two thirds majority.

Gardaí have begun checking CCTV footage in the four areas to see if they can identify anyone acting suspiciously. So far they have been unable to identify any suspects .

One of the victims of the criminal damage, Aoibhin Sheehy told The Evening Echo she parked her car on Charlemont Terrace, off Wellington Road, on Sunday night and woke up the next morning to find all four tyres slashed, along with damage to a wing mirror and back window wiper.

Ms Sheehy said that her car had a “Togther for Yes” sticker on the back window and believed her car had been singled out because of the sticker.

“They used a knife. It’s kind of scary. If I had been on the street or in my car, what would have happened? “said Ms Sheehy, adding that she was torn between removing the sticker and leaving it on her car as she felt no one should be intimidated over their political views.

Another woman, Jules Gilson told The Evening Echo that she had parked her car, which has a ‘Repeal the Eighth’ sticker on the window, around the corner on Wellington Road on the same night and found her car with similar damage .

“They’re clearly not random. If you want to stop someone using a car, you only need to stab one tyre, not all four. And ours was the only one on the street. It was clearly a pattern. It’s really cowardly. It’s ugly and unfair and upsetting,” Ms Gilson told The Evening Echo.

Another woman, Noirin De Barra told The Evening Echo how she returned home to Wellington Road a week earlier to find that two of her tyres had been slashed, and called the gardaí and the following morning, she woke up to find that the vandals had returned and slashed her other two tyres.

Ms De Barra said she had a ‘Together for Yes’ sticker in her rear window and it was not until several days later while talking to the gardaí again that the connection emerged prompting her to take the sticker down .”I was sad to take it down, but I can’t afford to replace my tyres every week.”

A Mayfield Garda spokesman said gardaí have increased patrols in the area while they have also identified the owners of cars bearing pro-choice stickers. They have advised them on precautions regarding parking and their car security to take to prevent any repeats of the attacks.