What is wrong with us? Why can’t we just admit what everyone knows, that there is something fundamentally wrong with the Guards?
Talk to any solicitor in any one-horse town anywhere in Ireland, and they’ll tell you that guards routinely perjure themselves in court. They all know it, and yet, when one of those solicitors, by being a faithful political hack, manages to attain a seat on the District Court bench, the amnesia kicks in. The newly-forged District Judge somehow forgets what he or she has always known when defending clients: the Guards are dodgy.
They are. Compare them to their PSNI colleagues north of the border if you want an instruction in professionalism. The PSNI stands up straight and calls the world Sir while an Garda Síochána scratches its arse and asks the world for All-Ireland tickets.
Who doesn’t know that the Guards are dodgy? Who hasn’t encountered some thick bully intent on losing hearts and minds by intimidating law-abiding citizens? Who isn’t aware of the hawk system? We all know that the Guards are dodgy. We all know that they behave in a manner very similar to organised crime gangs, including intimidating solicitors who make the mistake of opposing them.
Enda Kenny knows it, unless he grew up in a different, parallel-universe Mayo where dodgy guards don’t exist. Of course he knows it, and if he doesn’t, Enda Kenny should not be a politician.
I wouldn’t be so sure that Alan Shatter knows it, since he has such a privileged cosseted background, but as a practising solicitor, he should have at least an inkling of wrongdoing.
It’s time for a fundamental reform of the guards. It’s time for a proper policing authority. It’s time to separate the function of national security and policing. It’s time commissioners were appointed by an independent authority instead of the government.
It’s time our national police force had no political influence of any kind exerted on it.
It’s time for change.