It’s Time to Reform an Garda Síochána

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.

21 replies on “It’s Time to Reform an Garda Síochána”

Won’t happen.
And I bet anything it will never happen.
If it were to happen as you outline most of the current crop of serving ‘members’ would have to be sacked.
And that would be tantamount to anarchy by the standards successive governments have engendered.
It just can’t be permitted and therefore it won’t happen no matter how desperately it is needed.
Think; banana.

Although I don’t live in Ireland I think you are spot on Bock.I rememeber seeing a clip of Callinan walking into some function in front of Shatter,and I thought this is wrong.Callinan seems to have an air of smugness and arrogance about him,passing his leather gloves from one hand to the other while walking in front of Shatter.The gloves and moustache reminded me of someone from World War 2.I know this is just a silly observation on my part,but it is what I thought at the time.The message he sent out to me is don’t mess around with me.
I am sure he would not be tolerated in any other country in Western Europe.

There’s something about the gloves alright. Makes me think of Franco. The moustache, however, makes me think of The Third Policeman.

There’s a case coming up in Rathkeale where a young traveler ws being searched. They put him against a car and instructed him to spread his legs. He didn’t spread wide enough, so a guard kicked him to spread them further. he kicked him so hard he BROKE his leg. They then put him in the patrol car nd took him to the station.
Something like seventeen guards, I’m told, are willing to swear that he fell as he got into the patrol car and broke his own leg….wait for that story.

(1) Waterford Gardai assault trial.
(2) Kevin Street Gardai assault trial.
(3) Cork Gardai assault trial.
(4) Dundrum Garda fraud trial.
(5) Swedish House Mafia Garda mis-management.
(6) Penalty points scandal.
(7) Whistleblower scandal.
(8) Garda Limerick christmas party brawl & Garda arrested by PSNI in Belfast.

Some of the things that spring to mind over the past 18 months. It doesn’t make for pretty reading. Gardai needs to be 100% reformed as a matter of urgency. Callinan and those other idiots that hang around with him need to be sacked. Rank and file Gardai need to be properly trained. The wasters and hangers on need to be weeded out and dismissed. And above all, the Gardai needs to be run independently of our politicians.

I was driving down O Connell Ave one Sunday evening recently intending to turn right on to Wolfe Tone Street. I was waiting for a break in the oncoming traffic when an approaching Garda car activated its blue lights. I thought for a moment that something serious was happening. Imagine my surprise and embarrassment when the Garda driver beckoned me to roll down my window. He asked me to turn off my front fog lights. I thought to myself delightedly that the crime figures must now be at zero when this guy had nothing better to do except to ignorantly and grandiosely display the power invested in him.

Good post and then Tonyc pops in a comment that completely sidetracks me. The amount of times i’ve cursed drivers who have fog lights on when it isn’t foggy and i’m thinkin why don’t the guards pull these guys over and educate them! ;)

@ Tonyc: using fog lights when there’s no fog is a road traffic offence here in the Netherlands and is punishable with a hefty fine. I’m amazed at how many Irish people use fog-lights in clear driving conditions. Maybe the Irish traffic laws are different?

@Bock,mick&John Hickie. Try using front fog lights on a dark country,road which has no public lighting. See the difference it makes, I’ve always found them to be an advantage .
I don’t know about you mick,but I don’t need the guards to educate me.

De Shades have long needed a lookin’ into , in my humble….. de foglight when theres no fog thing is truly strange though .

Ha noice !…. once had a clown who didn’t understand the concept of a dynamo v Battery on bicycle lights…..I was about 12 and had to pedal around to show the total muck-savage tjhat it worked…..a look into ?….em ya .

I drive abroad quite a lot and if fog lights are on in clear conditions, a fine will be issued without fail. If he simply told you to turn them off, then let me tell you that he was very accommodating by overseas standards. I was driving in Dublin one night and I forgot to turn my lights on so I was pulled in an told to turn them on. He simply checked them all round and then let me go which I thought was remarkably lenient and I was grateful.

Except for the usual individual exceptions, I think that Na nGardai are pretty clean generally as a National Police Force. In some of the countries that I have been through, corruption and abuses can be shameless and flagrant at a surprising level, even in Western countries.

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