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gardai

The Professionals

Pat Rossiter seems like a decent man. He’s a cultured and well-read person, by the sound of him, who speaks plainly, and articulately, without pretention but with great dignity. Pat Rossiter’s fourteen-year-old son, Brian, died in Garda custody in 2002. Pat Rossiter subsequently announced his intention to sue an Garda Siochana for the wrongful death of his son.

Brian was the same age as Bullet is now, and I understand something of his father’s anguish, so I would just like, briefly, to share with you some of the facts, if you don’t already know them.

In 2002, Brian Rossiter came home with a black eye and headaches after being attacked in Clonmel. Two days later he was arrested on a public order offence. His father received a phone call from the gardai asking him to come to the station where they told him that Brian had overdosed on drugs and alcohol. He was informed that his son had been on a drink and drugs binge for four or five days. He consented to his son being held overnight in custody because he felt a short, sharp shock would teach him a lesson. Pat Rossiter, unlike a Garda, is not a professional and therefore wouldn’t know that it is illegal to detain a child in this way. Nevertheless, the professional Gardai imprisoned the child anyway.

The following morning Brian was taken to hospital having been found comatose in the cell. Pat Rossiter received a phone call from the gardai to say Brian had gone cold turkey and was in withdrawal. He went to the hospital and met detectives who suggested to him that Brian had taken a lot of ecstasy and had overdosed. Police also advised doctors at the hospital that Brian had taken fifteen to seventeen ecstasy tablets, and later informed the State Pathologist that Brian had taken a large amount of drugs and alcohol. In reality, as subsequent tests showed, Brian Rossiter had no drugs or alcohol in his system, despite what the police told the hospital, his parents and the State pathologist. On the other hand, when admitted to hospital from police custody, the fourteen-year-old displayed symptoms consistent with having been punched or kicked in the groin.

Twelve months ago, while walking home peacefully with relatives, his father, Pat Rossiter, was also arrested on public order offences. Interestingly, this was by the same Guard who had been in charge of the station the night Brian died. He was thrown into the same cell his son had died in, where he had to spend an entire tortured night, and last week, the District Court dismissed the charges against him. The Judge said that the charges were groundless. In evidence, the arresting guard told the court that he did not know who Mr Rossiter was when he arrested him, even though Mr Rossiter is a well-known taxi driver in the town. He also stated that he was unaware of the case Mr Rossiter had taken against an Garda Siochana.

The Judge was highly critical of the Garda evidence against Mr Rossiter, and I will bring you further details of what he said when they come to hand.

It seems the Guards are big into arresting people on public order offences, wouldn’t you think?

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police and thieves

The Heart of Darkness

Worst police force in Europe

Three tragic deaths

The Cannibal Murders

Anti-social behaviour orders

Do You Know Your Daddy’s a Murderer?

Non-lethal weapons

Oh those funny old Guards

The Professionals

Losing hearts and minds

Categories
gardai

Roadblock – Irish Style

I’ll come back to this subject another day, cos I’m too tired now, but I just want to mention one thing: this bizarre incident in Dublin, involving the stolen bus. Like everyone else in the country, I was shocked and horrified to hear that an innocent poor woman had been killed, and the situation deserves some respect, so I’m not going to say any more about that aspect of it.

What I would like to know more about, however, are the standard operating procedures of the Garda Siochana in such incidents. I was told today that the Guards set up a barricade using their own squad-cars. This makes sense. They knew the bus was coming and they were going to stop it even if it meant losing a couple of cars. Fair enough. Good thinking, boys. But it seems that, having set up the barricade in the path of the bus, it never occurred to them that maybe they should stand clear. No. It seems they sat inside the cars and waited for ten tons of careering metal to slam head first into them. “Oh Jesus, PJ, look! It’s a high-speed stolen bus charging straight at us!!! How the fuck did that happen?

These lads have obviously never seen Vanishing Point.

Somebody please tell me that this report is wrong. Please. Anyone. Please write in and say Bock, you have been misinformed. It’s an evil slander of our fine police force. I hope so. I genuinely hope the report is wrong, because if it’s true, we’re in worse trouble than I ever imagined.

Categories
gardai

Well done, the Guards

What? No, you haven’t changed channel by mistake. Well done, the Guards.

A complete skobe by the name of Kevin Dunne attacked a Lithuanian man called Vytas Sukys and beat him so badly that Mr Sukys now needs full-time nursing-home care. He is unable to speak and cannot walk unaided. The investigating Guards set up a fund to look after Mr Sukys and have so far raised 132,000 euros.

I’m happy to tell you that the prick who attacked him, Kevin Dunne, of Ballyfermot Drive, Dublin, today had his sentence increased to ten years by the Court of Criminal Appeal. I’m also happy to tell you that this is consecutive to a two-year sentence for attacking a French man in a separate incident.

Arsehole. I hope he falls over and breaks his fucking neck. I hope he spends the rest of his life as a paraplegic, just like poor Vytas Sukys.

Categories
gardai

More lunacy

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water . . .

The Civil and Public Services Union is not a thing that occupies much of my waking day, I have to admit. And yet. These people won an equality case today that resonates with things I’ve been ranting about in recent times, which I must share with you. Now, I don’t have the precise figures, so please be patient with me. I took this from the broadcast media, or as we mortals more prosaically put it, TV and radio. If you want the numbers, buy a paper.

The nub of the issue is that these junior civil servants have a complaint because they do certain clerical work, inter alia for the guards, and they feel they’re not paid enough. As indeed we all do. Their point is that, when working for the guards, they’re paid a lot less money for doing this work than the guards are for doing exactly the same thing. Fair enough. That makes sense. But this is where I’m losing touch with the wagon train. The court said they should be paid the same as the guards. Why? Low level clerical work deserves low wage, so why not give that kind of work to low-level clerks? Why have trained guards doing it? Make them earn their salary!

Among other things, it seems that police doing clerical work are entitled to a special allowance of 650 euros. For what? No, seriously now. I’m not joking about this. They’re being paid this money for not coming to work in their uniforms.

What???

Oh, goodnight.

Categories
gardai

Losing hearts and minds

Today’s hilarious episode of the Morris Tribunal brought us Sgt John White’s testimony, in which he revealed a deep understanding of human emotion.

Evidence had been given earlier that Mrs Brolly was shouted at by two male detectives to “fucking stand up” because she was looking “too comfortable”.

Sgt White confirmed that this had happened, and that he had violently knocked the chair across the floor.  He confirmed that she had been threatened with losing custody of her children, had her hair pulled and was subjected to crude sexual references.  He also agreed that “the prisoner”, as he insisted on calling Mrs Brolly, was wrongfully imprisoned and utterly blameless.

Under repeated questioning, however, Sgt White was unable to see why a woman in such circumstances would feel threatened by two men shouting and swearing at her to “stand up, you fucking bitch”.  According to Sgt White, treating any prisoner, man or woman, like this, is normal behaviour in our police force.

These, may I remind you, are the same people that rape victims have to approach in order to make a complaint. Very reassuring.

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Gardai Deny Farting at Suspect

Gardai Deny Everything

Who Killed Richie Barron?

Freddy’s Back

Worst Police Force in Europe

Police and thieves

The Heart of Darkness

Three tragic deaths

The Cannibal Murders

Anti-social behaviour orders

Do You Know Your Daddy’s a Murderer?

Non-lethal weapons

Oh those funny old Guards

The Professionals

Categories
gardai

Gardai Deny Everything

The Morris Tribunal took a further twist today when Garda Joan Gallagher denied ever having done anything. Throughout the questioning, Gda Gallagher addressed the Tribunal in the Garda Dialect.

“I gave my entire fucking life to camogie, you pathetic piece of fucking slime”, insisted Gda Gallagher.” Apart from pucking sliotars, I never done one other thing in my entire life. I don’t even remember joining the fucking Guards, so I don’t. In fact, I never joined the Guards, and any bastard who says I did is a liar and a prick, so they are, right enough. From I was a wee fucking wee’un, all I wanted in my hand was a camán. Aye. That’s right. Fuckin’ right. Aye, surely.”

Pressed on this point by counsel for the Tribunal, Gda Gallagher went on to explain that apart from playing camogie, she had literally never done anything at all.

Counsel: “Did you go to school?”

Gda Gallagher: “No! You lying fucking bastard!”

Counsel: “Did you ever push a sheep off a cliff?”

Gda Galagher: “Certainly not, you miserable lying fucker!! We’ll take your children away!”

Counsel: “As a child, did you play with your friends?”

Gda Gallagher: “I played camogie, on my own. Stand up, you fucker. Do you want a thick fuckin’ lip?”

Counsel: “Did you have a social life? Boyfriends, perhaps?”

Gda Gallagher: “I wanted no boyfriend. I had my camán in my hand and that’s all I needed, you snivelling little prick.”

Counsel: “But surely, when you applied to join the Gardai . . .”

Gda Gallagher: “I deny that, you wanker! I deny every fucking thing you’re suggesting. That man was drunk and aggressive and he assaulted eleven gardai on the bus. I saw him do it and we all swore to it in court – Oh, sorry, you wee arsehole, what was the question again?”

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Gardai Deny Farting at Suspect

Who Killed Richie Barron?

Freddy’s Back

Worst Police Force in Europe

Do you know your Daddy’s a murderer? 

Categories
gardai

Gardai Deny Farting At Suspect

It was another day of dramatic developments at the Morris Tribunal. In an emotional statement, Detective Sergeant John White denied breaking wind in a suspect’s face. “Read my lips,” said Sgt White. “I did not fart at that woman.”

The statement followed earlier admissions by another detective in the Donegal division.  Garda John Dooley confirmed that two women, Roisin McConnell and Katrina Brolly, were called lying bitches, one was forced to pray to her dead father while the other had her hair pulled as gardai­ accused Mrs McConnell’s husband Mark of murder. Both women were forced to look at graphic post-mortem photographs of the dead man’s body. Garda Dooley has given a sworn statement admitting that he, along with Sgt White and a female garda, abused the women in custody.

Admitting that he had lied to the Tribunal, Sgt White said that both women were abused and mistreated during their time in custody. He went on to state that they were blameless and their treatment while in custody was inexcusable. He said his role was to break the suspects and that the strident, aggressive methods he used were similar to those employed by the Gardai in investigations everywhere he had worked. For many years previously, Sgt White was based in Dublin.

However, Sgt White, clearly close to tears, said in a whisper, “I might have done a lot of bad things in my time, but I didn’t fart.” After a pause during which he withdrew behind a screen to collect himself, an emotional White revealed to a hushed courtroom that, due to a troublesome condition, he is unable to fart. “It’s not physical,” he confided, “It’s emotional. When I was younger, I used to fart the whole time. Morning, noon and night. But not any more. It’s ruining my life and I just don’t know what to do about it.”

At this point, Sgt White became visibly upset, and the Chairman adjourned the Tribunal for the afternoon. Thanking Sgt White for his frankness, Mr Justice Morris remarked that if all men with this problem could speak so openly about it, perhaps society would show more understanding towards this distressing complaint. Perhaps, Mr Morris suggested, Sgt White’s aggressive, bullying behaviour was simply an attempt to compensate for his inability to fart.

In a further development, it has emerged that Sgt White is shortly to travel to Guantanamo Bay as part of a special research project into the use of cabbage in interrogation.

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Gardai Deny Everything

Who Killed Richie Barron?

Freddy’s Back

Worst Police Force in Europe

Do you know your Daddy’s a murderer?

Police and thieves

The Heart of Darkness

Three tragic deaths

The Cannibal Murders

Anti-social behaviour orders

Non-lethal weapons

Oh those funny old Guards

The Professionals

Losing hearts and minds

Categories
gardai Policing

Police and thieves

I see that the membership of an Garda Siochana are upset at the prospect of our having a police reserve. They don’t think it’s a good thing to have amateurs carrying out a policing role, and, instead, they want more trained Guards on the streets to fight crime.

All well and good, but here’s a curious paradox for you: even though this is true, the Gardai are still talking bullshit. To understand why, you have to analyse carefully the words in the first paragraph, because certain unwarranted assumptions are being made there. Dangerous assumptions, based on complacency and mental laziness, not to mention dishonesty.

Firstly, as far as using amateurs in a policing role goes, where’s the evidence that we have anything but rank amateurs at the moment? This is a force which is capable of setting the most astonishing priorities for the use of its supposedly limited resources. Such as? Well, for instance such as sending four or five police to break into a house at dawn and arrest a woman for non-payment of a parking fine! If you don’t believe me, scan recent news reports about this case. Not only did they drag the woman from her bed, handcuff her and force her into a police car, they then crashed the car and injured their prisoner, who was duly awarded damages by a court of law. What??

But, you’ll say, that’s only one isolated case. Is it? Well, what about the genius strategic planner who decided it was a good idea to raid an alcohol-free teenage disco because it was being held in a hotel bar, even though the bar counter was locked? Or the hero who went camping in the Aran Islands, had a few drinks and later returned to his tent, got into his uniform and promptly raided the pub for serving after hours.

And while we’re on the subject of formidable Garda intellects, could somebody throw light for me on the planning for the Love Ulster march? Anybody?

Hello Mr Guard. Grand stretch in the evening, thanks be to God. Grand stretch right enough.

Oh, hello, Mr March-Organiser. I see the nights are closing in a bit.That’s right. We won’t feel it now till Christmas. No. Look, we were thinkin’ of havin’ a wee bit of a march there, right enough. Wee march.

Were ya now? Gob, there’s great dryin’ out today all the same.

Aye. We were thinkin’ of maybe marchin’ a couple of loyalist bands down O’Connell Street there to the GPO, comin’ up till Easter time, maybe the day of a big Celtic match. And that there.

Right. Right. A kind of march, as such.

Aye. Past that there huge pile of loose bricks. Do you see any problem with that there? Loose pile of bricks and all? Marchin’ bands? Flutes? Sash? Celtic? And that there. Right enough?

Oh God no. There’ll be no problem with that. Not at all. That’ll be grand. Seeya on the day, so. Grand. Fine. Isn’t there a grand stretch in the evening, thank God, all the same?

Yes indeed. All isolated cases.

I’m beginning to feel weary.

I was in a quiet pub not too long ago, just on closing time on a Tuesday night, when two Guards walked in, ordered everybody out and waited in the street until the place was empty. That was their priority at 11:30 on a Tuesday night in Limerick. To clear six or seven people from a pub where there has never been the slightest trouble. And furthermore to wait in the street until all the desperate miscreants had vacated the establishment. Now, this might seem like a trivial matter, and that’s exactly what it is. A small, ridiculous incident. However, I think it illustrates perfectly the hollowness of all this talk about Garda resources. Trained, highly-paid police are using their time in such petty pursuits. It points towards a total absence of any sense of perspective, an inability to manage resources in any meaningful sense, an inability to prioritise and an almost complete lack of management in any modern sense. Another isolated case.

I’m sure everybody has their own isolated cases they could tell you about, and ultimately every example is an isolated case, but so is every arbitrary arrest, every unfounded prosecution and every instance of perjury.

Perjury? Jesus Christ, now he’s calling the Guards liars!

OK. Don’t listen to me, then. Instead have a look at these quotes:

  • the spirit wearies at the lies, obfuscations, concealments and conspiracies to destroy the truth that would be apparent to any reasonable person
  • This entire matter could have been ended within months had there not been a determined effort to conceal the truth in favour of a twisted version of reality
  • This process of investigation has been delayed by contempt for the truth.
  • Some Garda witnesses told lies or simply refused to answer on the basis of a warped interpretation of the right to silence.
  • When an obligation to answer was in place, lies replaced silence. The extent of this was both astonishing and wearisome. It has wasted time and money in abundance.

Who do you think wrote these things? Was it some rabid kaftan-weaving peace-marching Ego Worrier, such as my good self? No. It was not. The author of these remarks was, in fact, Mr Justice Frederick Morris, President of the High Court, and he expressed these views in May 2005, in his report on the Donegal Garda division. Less than a year ago.

Don’t get me wrong. I think we need a strong professional police force. I just don’t think we have one. Instead of a police force, it seems to me that we have a clan, a tribe, which regards the rest of society with suspicion and approaches people sometimes with undisguised aggression. Who hasn’t been on the receiving end of boorish, disrespectful behaviour by some Guard on a power trip? Annoying though such an experience can be, I’m afraid this has a more worrying consequence. Any force such as our own must police by consent, and unfortunately it seems that many members of the force are busily eroding the support of the very law-abiding people they need on their side.

It seems to me that the root of this problem lies in the culture of the training regime. Many guards in a quieter moment will tell you that they learned in Templemore to see everybody as a potential criminal. Often overlooked and, to my mind, very revealing is the terminology used by our police force in referring to individual officers. Do you know of another country where police refer to each other as “members”?

==================

The Heart of Darkness

Worst police force in Europe

Three tragic deaths

The Cannibal Murders

Anti-social behaviour orders

Do You Know Your Daddyââ€â„¢s a Murderer?

Non-lethal weapons

Oh those funny old Guards

The Professionals

Losing hearts and minds