When the Morris Tribunal came out, they said it was just a Donegal problem.
When the Guerin report came out, they said it was just a Monaghan problem.
When the Smithwick Tribunal reported, they said it was just a Dundalk problem.
I wonder what they’ll say now that the Garda Inspectorate has issued a report confirming what everyone already knew: an Garda Síochána is a deeply dysfunctional, undertrained, secretive, unprofessional police force?
This latest report makes depressing reading, cataloguing failures in every aspect of policing within this State. It paints a picture of a force with little understanding of how a modern organisation should investigate crime or how it should relate to the victims. A force with almost no grasp of technology. A force with little or no advanced professional training, little ability to develop strategies or to adapt to changing circumstances and stuck in a siege mindset more appropriate to the 1950s.
A force with a remote, authoritarian leadership more concerned with political considerations than with policing a modern European country. A force managed by people who are all political appointees.
It”s no accident that not a single candidate from an Garda Síochána senior management made it to the short-list for Chief Constable of the PSNI. They weren’t good enough. It’s that simple.
One thing is clear from this report. Templemore, the Garda training college deliberately located far from any city, has to be closed down. The attitudes of them-and-us drummed into new recruits in that policing monastery do not serve us well in the 21st century.
The entire force needs a root-and-branch reconstruction but if that doesn’t happen after this it will never happen and we might as well get used to having a police force that’s a laughing-stock internationally. We deserve – and pay for – something better.
Feel free to read the report here in all its dispiriting glory.
Previously on BTR