Never Mind The Balaclavas


Garda Commissioner Drew Harris  (right) and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan

Look over here.

Good times.

Earlier: Nothing To Hear Here

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129 thoughts on “Never Mind The Balaclavas

    1. DeSelby

      Is he yeah?
      If they had that in the US many miscarriages of justice would never have been revealed. The camera has to be turned both ways if you believe in transparency.

        1. jon

          Totally agree
          And its all about trust and look, at the recent history
          The garda need to re-establish trust and respect and frankly drew Harris first act did not inspire respect or trust
          Especially coming from the north and the history of the over the top RUC
          Lets face it most of the garda are decent good people trying to do a sometimes impossible job dangerous thankless, but the mentality from the hierarchy is totally wrong
          Maybe we need a decent minister of justice not another failed gob shite

      1. Jeffrey

        Exactly. And its the Garda, they can spend a little time and ID easily those posting threats and so on on FB or other. Using the few loonies who will ALWAYS post threats and so on to remove transparency in Garda public dealings is ludicrous!

      2. Let Freedom Ring

        in the US cops generally are often not convicted even when they are tried and convicted by online mobs beforehand

    2. Ciuncainteach

      Except he’s not. There are laws on the books already to address the concerns he’s highlighted. What evidence is there to suggest that these aren’t sufficient?

    1. Rep

      10 gardaí on the stairs with guns and shields, 2 on the roof with guns and another 2 at the window with tasers to evict a couple? Yeah, something makes me think that there is more that it than just that.

        1. SOQ

          Yes she’s being held against her will yet he pops out to pick the kids up from school?

          Sounds like they just don’t want to leave to me

      1. CoderNerd

        Apparently the landlord was saying there was a woman being held against their will in the house.
        That’s from a video of one of the gardai speaking to the occupant.
        The garda is being respectful and mediating the situation, saying they’re there because of the “held against their will” report.

          1. CoderNerd

            Originally reported as an eviction.
            It’s been established that no one is being held against their will. Latest reports are that the gardai are getting ready to force their way in.

  1. george

    I’m all in favour provided it is a criminal offence for a garda to cover or tamper with body cams. They’ll change their minds pretty quick if that was enforced.

  2. Brother Barnabas

    The line “having multiple mobile phones in their faces as they try to go about their duties” reveals so much about how he feels and what he thinks about those protesting

    1. rotide

      That line is the one that resonated with me. During all the major protests over the last 5 years, there’s always 10 or 15 cameraphones stuck right into guards personal space while the protester shouts some empty chant like ‘no justice’ or ‘peaceful protest’. The restraint shown by the guards in these situations is always pretty good as most people here would swing for them within 10 seconds

      1. CoderNerd

        You like making claims with no evidence.

        There’s plenty of video where gardai are either claiming that the person is breaking the law by filming them, trying to snatch the phone off them or telling the person to get out of their face, so your “always” statement is incorrect.

        You can not state what most people here would do. You have no idea who they are. At most large protests I’ve been to, the people in general act with common sense and are peaceful.

        1. Rob_G

          Here is a video of a load scumbags squaring up to Gardaí, with the Gardaí showing admirable restraint when the ‘peaceful protest’ brigade try to physically intimidate them. Search ‘peaceful protest, Gardaí’ on YT, you will find dozens of similar examples.

          1. CoderNerd

            Yes it is and they should be commended for their actions there.
            There’s also videos of them having removed their numbers and baton charging students from Reclaim The Streets.
            There’s also videos of them smacking students, sitting in protest outside the department of finance, over the head with batons. An act which could have caused fatalities.

          2. Rob_G

            I agree with you; I am not familiar with the Dept of Finance footage, but the Gardaí were definitely in the wrong at the Reclaim the Streets protest.

            I was just agreeing with Rotide’s point; a lot of the footage that we see uploaded of people filming the Gardaí (as is their right) shows many of the protestors surrounding the Gardaí on all sides, with their cameras right up in the Gardaí’s faces (which is not their right.

          3. CoderNerd

            Except that Rotide’s comment stated that this “always” happens,
            one side harassing the gardai and the gardai acting with utter restraint.

            He’s wrong, and I think it’s a deliberate effort to paint all protestors as scumbags.
            The papers are at it and RTE are constantly at it.

            Showing up in balaclavas (hoods me booo boos) to protect other balaclava non identified heavies, especially given Ireland’s history, of course is going to provoke outrage.
            The gardai move people along if there may be a breach of the peace (abortion referendum no banners for example) so they should have known this would happen and stopped the heavies. As has been pointed out, they took a very different approach in Dalkey. It should have been done here too.

            Without the publicity and celebrities Apollo House had, I’m sure they’d have gone in with balaclavas and swinging batons too.
            When the gardai think they’ll get away with it, they seem to ignore rules and regulations themselves.

          4. rotide

            I’m not trying to paint all protestors as scumbags.

            I’m trying to paint most of the people who stick cameras in gaurds faces as morons who would get a slap if they did it to anyone else. Most of the videos on youtube back me up on this.

          5. Rob_G

            Not always, but certainly often enough to be considered a trend (and I am basing my opinion on the footage uploaded by the protestors themselves, not in some ‘mainstream media’ version).

            As to Dalkey and Apollo house, I think you are comparing apples with oranges – at Gorse Hill, there were never more than a handful of protestors. At Apollo House, all of the protestors left voluntarily on the foot of the court order (AFAIR). In Frederick St, there had been more than 100 protestors at certain times. And the vast majority of whom were just showing their discontent perfectly peacefully, but one report has someone inside the house being in possession of a butterfly knife, so with the large numbers of protestors potentially involved, I think that the Gardaí erring on the side of caution was probably warranted.

          1. Let Freedom Ring

            I don’t know who “moyest” is but if he also called you out for the belligerent, contrary toe-rag you clearly are he sounds like a great, great guy

            You might care to reflect on how frequently you are getting this kind of feedback online from multiple different people

      2. Brother Barnabas

        “right into guards personal space”

        that’s just not the case

        guards don’t ever tolerate anyone filming them from within 10 metres – if so, threats of arrest for obstruction, refusing to obey instruction etc are thrown around

        1. Let Freedom Ring

          Really? I do hope this is part of your 12% quota

          But there’s actually nothing they can do within the law to carry through those threats, is there?

    2. Joe Small

      I think the Minister is dead wrong there. No doubt there will be idiots provoking Gardaí and videoing at close range but you can’t legislate for idiots. A professional police force should be able to cope with that.

      1. Catherine costelloe

        I agree. And didn’t garda disgracefully film and share on Facebook naked & vulnerable Dara Quigley in recent past? This was far more serious as she took her life . So Charlie , gone is the day when people back you because of double standards.

          1. Bodger

            Two things: 1) You know full well the reason why we shared the link of what the those guards did to Dara. 2) You are continuing to use a young, dead women, someone for whom you never gave a damn for when she was alive, to have a go at us. Think about that for a minute before you privately complain again to us about trolling on this site. Coward.

          2. johnny

            … there a complaints department around here, ah now………..
            i like the site, its not my normal habitat,but it does have its moments, keep up the great work Bodger and co.

            -anyone got a link to the Dublin Econ Workshop papers,I have Donahue’s speech in which he thanks his lecture in economics, who apparently then had a serious go at Pascal :) Barrett goes rogue shortly after!

            “I wanted to in particular recognise my former Lecturer and Colleague, Sean Barrett who is here today. Much of what I now believe in Economics, and many of the things which at times I’ve questioned, are in no small way due to him. I spent a year being taught by him when I studied Transport Economics in Trinity College, many many years ago.”


          3. rotide

            Bodger, I didn’t know Dara when she was alive and I only knew of her after she passed. I found you sharing the link highly distasteful, inappropriate and misguided. Mainly because like most people I’ve had friends pass by suicide and that footage is the absolute last thing I would have liked to have seen of them at that time. I certainly wasn’t the only one who felt that way and lets face it, if you had good reasons for posting it, it would still be up. Everyone makes mistakes and I thought you had accepted it was a mistake to post it. Clearly not.

            Also, don’t call me a bloody coward for saying exactly what I say here in a private email to you. That is the height of unprofessionalism. Maybe if you had even the slightest abilty to control the trolling around here rather than lose your rag every few months and insult people left right and centre then noone would need to use the report button.

            Your comment would have angered me a lot more a few years ago but it’s par for the bloody course lately.

          4. Bodger

            No, Rotide. You know exactly our reason for linking to that video. Don’t pretend your conscience has anything to do with this. You are a troll.

          5. rotide

            I said at the time It was inappropriate

            I’m saying now it was inappropriate.

            I’m not sure how that makes me a troll..

          6. Bodger

            We linked to the video so Dara’s friends could see the video. We did so because the guards were actively removing the video from the internet (it was entirely gone within two hours of our post). Dara was a friend and a contributor and we would do the same for anyone we cared for.

          7. Brother Barnabas

            not asking this in an in any way contentious way, rotide, but can you understand (rather than agree with) the rationale or justification for publishing it?

          8. Frilly Keane

            Ah now Rottie

            we’ve been through all this before

            that link had to be posted

            the public-at-large needed to see how members of An Garda Síochána treated a vulnerable and distressed woman
            A girl who was No threat to them
            in her worst hours

            In her worst hours Rottie

            denying that
            denies you and everyone else cribbing about Broadsheet posting the link
            the right to complain and object about everything else that was kept hidden from the Irish public
            like pedophile Priests being transferred
            Babies that couldn’t be sold, being dumped into septic tanks
            Mobile Phone Licence give aways
            Penalty Points and Breath Testing bollockology
            and whatever yere’having yerselves

            You give up the right to complain about Secrecy and Power, Corruption and Cover-Ups

            and sum’ting else
            Dara herself would have posted it up

            Thing is now
            since the Garda that recorded this while on duty
            and shared it with a private group
            is not being charged or even being sacked

            Not even her Friends
            Not even her estranged Family

            and no one would have known An Garda Síochána conducted themselves like this in the course of their To Protect & Serve duties

            so in future learn to say Thank You to Broadsheet Rotide
            They did the Country a service

          9. rotide

            Of course I understand why it was posted, I’ll just NEVER agree with it. I understand why some people think vaccinating their children is a bad thing. that doesn’t make them right.

            Bodger made a post and talked on BOTT at the time and was clearly honest about his intentions so I’m not of the opinion that he posted it for clicks or anything like that.

            It doesn’t change the fact that to my mind, it was wrong to post it. I’ve read enough here on the reasons why and no amount of bodger name calling or frilly haiku is going to change my mind on that.

            It’s not like I’m alone on this or this is some sort of radical ideology. The fact that broadsheet lost a number of contributors and a fair amount of commenters directly because of it tells me that I wasn’t the only one uncomfortble with it.

          10. Bertie Blenkinsop

            Bodger – did you post an apology afterwards, I have a vague recollection of it but can’t find it on the site.
            Apologies in advance if I’m wrong.

          11. Róisín

            Good for you Rotide you’re well able to stand up for yourself. I can see both sides. The Gardai involved not being sanctioned is an incredibly tough pill to swallow.

            * I had to look up the meaning of haiku, tee hee, very bold.

          12. I don’t want your

            Bertie what exactly does Bodger need to apologize for? He has explained his editorial decision above. He doesn’t sound remotely interested in giving little piffling farts like you or rotide any apology and rightly so. I notice this a lot with commenters in this site. Persistent trolling of other people with whom they disagree. Incessant bullying and silencing of other people. Score-settling, tedious. And then labeling anyone who is in the habit of calling them out someone who issues rape threats. Completely without proof. This is defamatory stuff.

            But worst of all what I note is that commenters do think they actually own the site and can question the publisher on his editorial policies. Get a fupping life you bunch of clowns.

          13. Bertie Blenkinsop

            Show me where I asked Bodger to apologise?
            I asked him if he had apologised.
            Asking you if you’ve shat your trousers doesn’t mean I want you to.

          14. Brother Barnabas


            i think the apology / regret was over the upset caused to so many people

            as far as i recall, BS stood by its decision to post the video – which i didn’t initially agree with, came to agree with on reflection and support it even more so now. i’m pretty sure dara would have been the first person in a newsroom insisting that video needed to be seen by as many people as possible.

            bigger issue now is how her family are being stonewalled by the guards today

          15. Bodger

            Brother and Bertie, an apology was made for all the upset caused on Broadsheet on the Telly that night. We explained why we did it and that it was the last thing we wanted to do. That it wasn’t for clickbait.
            We didn’t want to touch the video and wouldn’t consider making a copy. I sent out the link to whoever I knew was a friend of Dara’s and we kept it up on the site for as long as we could short of causing a complete mutiny of contributors and readers.
            I asked one critic to explain how he could evaluate the video, subject of a GSOC investigation, without seeing the video. he said we should leave it up to journalists to ‘describe the contents’.

          16. Brother Barnabas

            @bodger – yeah, I remember that and fwiw, despite my own initial hissy fit, which I regret, I’m glad you did it.

            how dara’s family are being treated by AGS over this almost 18 months on deserves attention. it’d be good if we could all move on from the video row and focus instead on this.

          17. rotide

            Hey look, its Freedom/Moyest back under yet another username.

            “But worst of all what I note is that commenters do think they actually own the site and can question the publisher on his editorial policies. Get a fupping life you bunch of clowns.”

            Not a day goes by here where people don’t accuse the ‘msm’ of ‘bias’ and question their coverage of events. Yet somehow we are not to question Bodger on his coverage? get back under your bridge.

            Feel free to go and use your time looking for somewhere that I asked for an apology. It might keep you occupied for quite a while.

          18. rotide

            Although I still don’t agree with it, I Fully believed your explanation on BOTT but this statement is just lunacy:

            We didn’t want to touch the video and wouldn’t consider making a copy. I sent out the link to whoever I knew was a friend of Dara’s and we kept it up on the site for as long as we could

            Every time you sent a link, you made a copy. Every time it was streamed from the site a copy was made. You run a website, you can’t not realise this?

          19. Bodger

            Rotide, I think everyone understands what I meant. Could you now possibly choose a less sensitive subject to vent your numerous frustrations on us please?

        1. Blo Jo Brexit

          Leave Dara Q out of it. She’s not a vehicle for this argument. The cops themselves can provide plenty of ammo to shoot themselves in the foot with.

    3. Let Freedom Ring

      It’s a fair point though B.B.

      Is there any other profession where it would be appropriate to stick a number of phones in their face while they are at work?

      1. Cian


        As in journalists stick their phones into the faces of those they are interviewing.

        But, yea – I take your point it is very intrusive.

      2. George

        Bouncers would be another example.

        The police are granted the right to use physical force to carry out their work and sometimes abuse that privilege. They also have the power to control people in other ways and this is why it is important that there be no ban on recording them.

        More fundamentally you have a right to record anything happening in a public place so you can record anyone working in a public place.

      3. Brother Barnabas

        no, but as i said up above they already don’t tolerate people putting phones in their faces. i’ve seen guards shoving people 10 yards back – and telling them to keep 10 yards back or they’ll arrest them. i don’t know if they can legally do that (Old Boy?)

        point is that flanagan is being completely disingenuous

        1. The Old Boy

          Well, a guard can only give you a direction that you are obliged to follow or risk arrest if you are already committing a public order offence or if you “without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, […] act in a manner which consists of loitering in a public place in circumstances […] that give rise to a reasonable apprehension for the safety of persons or the safety of property or for the maintenance of the public peace”.

          In practice, this section (S.8, Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, 1994) is the one used by Gardaí in such circumstances, particularly the loose wording of “reasonable apprehension […] for the maintenance of the public peace.”

          S.19 of the same act makes it an offence to “resist[…] or wilfully obstruct[…] a peace officer acting in the execution of his duty”. That would certainly apply to anyone pushing a phone in an officer’s face such that his capacity to carry out his duties was reduced.

          Taking these provisions together, the courts accept that, as a general rule, the Gardaí have a reasonable discretion to clear people out of the way of a policing operation to a reasonable distance and to arrest those who persistently fail to comply on public order grounds. People who refuse to comply can usually be arrested for S.5 disorderly conduct or S.6 threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour where necessary.

          1. Brother Barnabas

            thanks, Old Boy

            this is cconsistent with what i’ve seen – and “10 yards” seems to be what most guards demand

            so flanagan saying “I am concerned about the public order dimension of Gardaí having multiple mobile phones in their faces as they try to go about their policing duties” is clearly disingenuous because they already have powers to deal with that

          2. Cú Chulainn

            They will use that on any occasion .. cycle protest.. house protest.. watching them kick the poo out of someone.. it’s very effective – keep looking/filming and get a criminal record.. or, move along..

  3. Giggidygoo

    Blueshirt welcomes UK Police officer to top policing position in Ireland. Top Irish police commissioner holds public show of ability to brutalise two weeks before he sends out ex UK paddy wagon lined with thugs to teach the paddies a lesson.
    Big cheer for the FG Blueshirts, ably abetted by a mixture of FF nationalists, and the likes of Dominant Brazil Olympian Ross, Cath Lab Harpo, and Tuam Zappone

  4. Not on your Nelly Too

    Slowly, slowly… here come the internet restrictions. Where are the Garda body-worn cams? Might have shone more light on that man who was shot in his car by a detective, that vanished from the headlines fairly lively, didn’t it?

    1. Cian

      The man who had kidnapped a girl. Who was observed making stabbing motions? The man who died because of a freak deflection of the bullet off his shoulder bone? That man?

      1. George

        Deflections of bullets within the body of someone who has been shot are not freak occurrences. They are a highly probable outcome of shooting someone. Multiple conflicting accounts of what happened were also given.

        1. rotide

          Speaking of highly probably outcomes, what do you think is the outcome when you kidnap a young girl in broad daylight and make stabbing motions when you are caught up with?

          Just as a matter of interest like?

    1. CoderNerd

      And now he’s an ethics advisor for the gardai.
      I’m guessing they’re eyeing up the garda who uploaded the Dara Quigley video as his deputy.

  5. Ollie Cromwell

    I rather like the cut of this Drew fellow’s jib.
    Obviously brought in to clean up the corrupt plod south of the border but I reckon we’ll soon see him putting it about a bit and getting rid of some of the old,in-bred deadwood.
    Rob O’Cop,your time is now.

  6. BS

    This is an absolutely disgusting and very disturbing statement to make.

    The Gardai have nearly no oversight already, they can quash penalty points, fake breath tests, all without fear of repercussions, even when they are caught!

    The ONLY way to ensure that the dont use excessive force, or threaten people, or detain them without a lawful reason is for people to be able to identify them, and to PROVE that the claims they are making against a Garda are true.

    Any one remember the good aul boys down in westport threatening to rape a woman?

    1. Topsy

      Westport lads – just having a bit of crack. If you made the same statement you’d be in pretty serious trouble.

      1. Cian

        Not really. I’ve been in situations at work where people have made inappropriate statements. And nothing happened to the people involved.

        1. BS

          Someone said they’d like to rape someone in your work and nothing was done or said? Let me know where you work so I can avoid it at all costs

          1. Giggidygoo

            God, you’re some apologist. Typical blueshirt of course.
            So if you’re a woman in the custody of two Gardai, basically at their mercy, and they start threatening a rape, you should treat it as a joke?
            “Give me your name and address. or I’ll rape you”. Some joke alright.

            (“sew up your pockets”, “pay or we will turn your water down to a trickle”) Yep, I see where you’re coming from alright.

          2. Giggidygoo

            @Rotide. It doesn’t matter does it? They said it, it was recorded, the comment referred to the women, the women heard it. The Sergeant, by his manner and line of thought, and his words, was also in a process of imparting his professional experience to Gardai of a lower rank.
            I believe he didn’t have a great retirement party either.

  7. Keven

    Typical Charlie talk. We are use to that here in the north where he always, and I mean always supported the British. The double talk here is from someone who is an elitist and thinks quite frankly, everyday Irish people are stupid. These are the same people who kept Ireland in the dark ages for so long. If he was against censorship, he would say that. He doesn’t though, instead he qualifies free speech or photography. Any time a person says something like I am in favour BUT …… The but says everything before means nothing. Don’t be fooled people. He’s a dangerous politician when freedom is concerned.

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