Drogheda pharmacy stabbing prompts tougher sentence call
Pharmacists have demanded tougher sentences for violent attacks in chemist shops after the stabbing of one of their colleagues.
A man has been arrested after that latest assault at a pharmacy in Scarlet Street in Drogheda on Tuesday morning.
The victim, in his 30s, was on his own at the time of the incident.
A man entered the premises at around 8.30am and a row broke out, during which the pharmacist was stabbed in the abdomen area, according to a Garda spokesman.
He was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in the town, where he is being treated for what is described as serious injuries.
Gardai responding to the incident arrested a man in his 30s close to the scene.
The suspect is being detained at Dundalk Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.
Investigators are seeking witnesses.
The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU), which represents more than 2,000 community chemists, said tougher sentencing, more visible policing and a no tolerance approach was needed to stamp out increasing attacks.
Daragh Connolly, vice president of the organisation, said figures last year revealed three out of four pharmacists were victims of crime, including shoplifting, robbery and raids.
More than a third (36%) of the victims said their attackers carried one or more weapons of which a knife was used in the majority of cases.
"Our thoughts are with our colleague, his family and the wider pharmacy community in Drogheda and we wish him a speedy recovery," said Mr Connolly.
"Increasingly our members are becoming victims of crime and the extremely lenient penalties handed down by the courts are not proving to be a deterrent in comparison to the impact a crime like this can have on the pharmacist, their staff and the wider local community.
"We need tougher sentencing, more visible policing and a no tolerance approach by the Gardai and the criminal justice system."