Gardaí investigating after cars with pro-choice stickers have tyres slashed

By Eoin English
Irish Examiner Reporter

A Garda operation has been mounted in parts of Cork’s northside after tyres were slashed on cars displaying pro-choice stickers.

Gardaí have confirmed that they are investigating seven incidents of criminal damage to vehicles in the north inner city over the last nine days.

They declined to comment on claims from pro-choice activists that the incidents are linked. However, the owners of two cars targeted on Sunday said they have no doubt there is a connection.

“A plan has already been put in to combat any further incidents,” said a Garda spokesman.

Since January 27, tyres have been slashed, and wing mirrors and windscreen wipers have been snapped off several vehicles parked outside homes in the Wellington Rd, St Luke’s, Dillon’s Cross, Old Youghal Road, and Ballyhooly Road areas of the city. All were displaying pro-choice stickers.

In one incident, a vehicle was targeted two nights in a row.

Aoibhín Sheehy’s car was one of 20 parked on a terrace on Wellington Road on Sunday night. It was the only one with a Together for Yes sticker and was the only one attacked. All four tyres were slashed, and a wing-mirror and windscreen wiper were damaged. Repairs could cost up to €300.

Ms Sheehy said: “It’s scary and quite terrifying that someone would specifically target someone who supported women in a campaign the country voted on.”

Jools Gilson parked her car alongside seven others in a nearby area. It was the only one displaying a Repeal the Eighth sticker and again it was the only one targeted. All four tyres were slashed, costing an estimated €220 to replace.

Details of the incidents have emerged as the HSE and the data protection commissioner investigate possible breaches of patient data after an incident in Dublin.

A woman who availed of an abortion at a Dublin maternity hospital last week says she was contacted afterwards for a follow-up scan. She phoned the person who sent her the text and was verbally abused and called “disgusting” for having an abortion.

The phone number is linked to a rogue abortion counselling service and an anonymous Twitter account.

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