Rap Sheets In Blue



From top: Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan arriving at Leinster House this morning for an appearance at the Justice and Equality Committee in the Dail; Dan Boyle

The real errors lie in the appointment of the current commissioner, rather than her subsequent performance. Having been part of the problem, why was it ever thought she could be a solution?

Dan Boyle writes:

I suspect I’ve had a more than average number of interactions with the Garda Siochána. As a politician paths cross on numerous occasions – when trying to deal with anti social behaviour; the policing of public events; or the odd protest march. For the most part these interactions have been overwhelmingly positive.

At other times I have transgressed. I’ve failed to drive my motor vehicle in a tardy fashion. I have been too attentive to my mobile phone. These brushes with our legal custodians were, on the whole, pretty judicious. These were fair cops, I thought.

I can only remember two incidents when I crossed swords negatively with members of the force, who I thought were acting with an attitude.

The first occasion was on Arranmore Island. I was breathalysed at two thirty in the afternoon, having just arrived on the island. When I commented that it was a futile, box ticking exercise I was told ‘you seem tired, sir’ before being threatened with prosecution under section this of that act. And no, there was no alcohol in my system.

The second event was when I had beeped my horn at a car that had cut across me. A nearby motorcycle Garda, who had heard my beep but hadn’t seen the cutting across, pulled me over to accuse me of road rage. He asked to see my licence.

On seeing my (non Irish) place of birth he proceeded to tell me, that had I come from here (Ireland) I would know how to drive properly. Imagine that being said to a person with a different skin tone. Community policing it wasn’t.

In the scheme of things these were two fairly trifling events. The attitude exposed was the confusion of judging with policing. I have found that those who are judgemental, tend to be less tolerant of being judged themselves.

It is a tough job. We live in a better society because they are there. I don’t expect them, nor the force they are part of, to be pristine. All State institutions reflect the society they are meant to represent.

Irish society remains too tolerant of a cutting corners approach in our institutions. What we should expect is that they enforce standards that are, at least, better than average.

The management of the Garda Siochana, is typical of the management of many of our State institutions. They seem to follow a deflect, deny, dump on approach to difficulties that arise in their organisation.

Confusing judging with policing is at the heart of the ongoing problems being experienced by the Garda Siochána. Problems that should be owned by this Garda Commissioner.

The real errors lay in the appointment of the current commissioner, rather than her subsequent performance. Institutional malaise is rarely, if ever, cured by those oblivious to the symptoms that have brought about the illness. Having been part of the problem, why was it ever thought she could be a solution?

It is those who made that decision who now need to come forward, take responsibility, and own that why.

Dan Boyle is a former Green Party TD and Senator. His column appears here every Thursdyay. Follow Dan on Twitter: @sendboyle

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22 thoughts on “Rap Sheets In Blue

  1. windbag

    Was there a point to this article other than out of 100 interactions with the nnngaarddííí you encountered 2 people stuck up their own bottoms?

    Could you say the same about TDs?

  2. Anomanomanom

    Iv said for years that the garda are corrupt and rotten to the core. I’ve seen it first hand, It started with a garda basically telling me he’d kick the shit out of, I was 16 and literally doing nothing. And the time 2 uniformed garda robbed my friend and I, when I went to kevin street station to collect my seized “properties” (our wallets,a bag carrying jackets and some whiskey id bought for a present) they said they had no record of any of it. And last incident being asked word for word “sure can you not do something your self” when I reported my bike stolen.

      1. Anomanomanom

        But thats from my dealing. A lot of people have had similar experiences. Of course individually its not all of them, but as an organization its rotten to the core.

  3. EightersGonnaEight

    Irish bogger cops still collaborating with the racist French judicial system – solely to prove the Templemore College Group Cert bhoys are right when it’s proven they are wrong.

    Is there anything with lower credibility and trust in life than being an Irish Garda?

    PSRoI anyone?


    Ian Bailey arrested after European arrest warrant endorsed

    Bailey denies all links to Toscan du Plantier death and alleges garda conspiracy to frame him

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      My view is that he did it, but they botched up the investigation. They then tried to frame him for doing it and botched that up too.

      1. Rowsdower

        Didn’t he already lose a civil action when at least one witness testified that he confessed to the killing?

  4. anne

    The big grin seems a little inappropriate.. actually a lot inappropriate. It’s coming across as an evil grin at this stage. Clueless.

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