The new Criminal Justice (Public Order) act which makes organised begging a criminal offence has come into force. Two offences of organising or directing begging and living off the proceeds may be punishable by five years imprisonment or a fine of €200,000 or both.

This law has been cheered by two right wingers at Dublin City Council – namely Councillors Nial Ring and Gerry Breen.They are an embarrassment.

I have written about this issue on a few occasions. These penalties are clearly grotesque inappropriate and excessive. I am ashamed that the Lord Mayor of Dublin is a cheerleader for such absurdity. Just look at the pictures of Roma beggars in the Herald, young girls, sitting in the street. To use the word “threatening” in this context is mere word abuse.Have either of these councillors listened to John Lonergan on the reality of Mountjoy Jail?

The voters in dublin Northwest have a clear choice on the Fine Gael ticket – A Right Wing Thatcherite or a Civilised Humanitarian. It certainly makes life interesting. That’s life!