KNIFE CRIME in Ireland is on the rise.
Last year, the number of people hospitalised in the country due to stabbings increased by nearly 10%.
Worryingly, figures show that knife crime is particularly problem for young people in Ireland, with a number of children being among those admitted to hospital.
According to Freedom of Information figures, 178 people were hospitalised due to stabbings in 2019.
This is up significantly from 2018's total of 164.
Of the patients, 100 were aged between 18 and 35, and 13 were children under 18.
Retired Detective Inspector Patrick Marry says knife crime is a huge problem among young people.
"Every year we see murders or injuries where knives have been used," said Mr Marry.
"The carrying of knives is synonymous with groups of young people.
"They find it a comfort to carry a knife in case they are attacked or if they have a drug debt or anything of that nature.
"That is a problem because young people can end up using knives when they may not be in full fettle about the damage they could do with a knife when they produce it."
He added that knife crime is something that needs to be tackled by the new coalition government, and suggested that gardai could offer a pardon and perhaps even incentives for people to hand in their illegal knives.
"Maybe the best way to approach it is - and they did it in England, Wales and Scotland - where the police forces got together and they had an amnesty for people to hand over illegal knives.
"They found it a huge success and they took something like 20,000 illegal knives off the streets.
"The same approach could be adapted here."
According to figures, there has also been a rise in the number of people who were treated for gunshot wounds.
In 2019, 25 people were hospitalised - up from 23 in 2018.