A time to act?
Sir, – Jean-Luc Pradels (November 2nd) queries Fintan O’Toole’s “inaction” when he saw a group of seven boys harassing two girls on the Red Line Luas. However, Mr O’Toole (Opinion, October 31st) says that he was on the point of intervening when the Luas stopped and the girls got off; Mr O’Toole says he was going to “risk whatever would come next”. Mr Pradels surely realises that if you intervene in a situation such as that described, you are risking being verbally abused – attacked – beaten up – inadvertently killed?
Young folk, even children, are threatening and frightening when in groups and intent on disruption. They are physically strong, and may have no reservations about doing harm; they certainly have no reservations about dominating a situation.
I speak from experience of wrestling with a youngster trying to steal my bag on two occasions, being threatened with a knife by a kid of about 12 once, and threatened with blazing newspapers at a bus stop by kids of about 11 on another occasion.
On the last occasion, there were a few other people at the bus stop but none of us had the courage to confront the kids, and none of us had faith that if we did, the others would back us up.
Young folk indeed need to be taught, not just good manners, which can be superficial, but deep respect for others and an ability to control their aggression. – Yours, etc,
N R JESSOP,
Dublin 14 .