Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has said that the seizure of over two thousand catalytic converters in Finglas represents a great strike against the criminals who pillage parked cars and leave ordinary motorists with immense repair bills and insurance claims. Teachta Crowe was speaking after attending a meeting of the local Joint Policing Committee which heard that 115 of these converters had been stolen and removed from cars in the Rathfarnham/Tallaght Garda District since January.

Teachta Crowe said:

“Gardaí have seized over two thousand catalytic converters in Finglas this week and this is to be welcomed. The theft of converters from cars in car parks or outside of homes for the precious metals they contain has reached endemic proportions lately and have left thousands of cars undriveable and in need of serious repair. Some of the cars have simply been written off due to the costs involved.

“Today at the Joint Policing Committee, we heard that 115 of these catalytic converters had been removed from cars in Rathfarnham/ Tallaght Garda District since January.

“Even if the cars can be repaired, ordinary motorists are left with severe repair costs or insurance bills which can wipe out a no claims bonus which is invaluable at a time when insurance premiums are at ridiculous levels.

“The environmental consequences of smelting down these converters for the gold, platinum, and other precious metals they contain is catastrophic.

“Hopefully, the recent series of successful raids by gardaí on workshops where these converters were held and smelted down will lead to a reduction in the number of these thefts that we have seen. Motorists should be able to park without the added worry of their car being vandalised and damaged.

“This is a worldwide phenomenon. More needs to be done by designers and manufacturers to replace these precious metals and introduce additional safety measures, including cowls to help reduce and make this criminal enterprise less profitable.”