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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Scrap the Gardai and start again

It's time to scrap the Gardai and start again. I was thinking this around the time that the Patton reforms in the North were announced years ago. If there is a police force on this island in desperate need of reform, it's the Gardai, not the PSNI.

Now, that's not to suggest that all is well with the Nips. It's not. But they have moved on from the sectarian nature that the RUC once displayed and are continuing to move in the right direction, in a climate which still makes proper community policing extremely difficult.

It's time, as Mairtin O'Muilleoir has pointed out, for Sinn Fein to endorse the PSNI, so that they can help to achieve the final reforms necessary to make the PSNI truly a police force for all in the North.

But what about the keystone cops of the Republic? This week they finally arrested Joe O'Reilly on charges of murdering his wife Rachel. Now, Joe is currently innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. But this development indicates that such a trial is now likely.

Joe himself has previously acknowledged that he was a leading suspect. Newspapers like the Evening Herald all but identified him as the only suspect Gardai were investigating. Yet it has apparently taken over two years and hundreds of thousands of euro spent on investigation to bring Mr O'Reilly to the point of being charged.

This would be the same police force, incidentally, which has been caught fitting up people for non-existent murders in Donegal, planting evidence of bombmaking, and allegedly lying in court in relation to a suspect who was charged with offences relating to the Omagh bombing.

The same force that threatened to go on strike if a reserve force was introduced. The same force who earn spectacular wages and overtime for one of the worst records of serious crime solving in Europe, even after they pretended to solve some of the cases that they hadn't.

I reckon it's time the Gardai were completely overhauled. Let's scrap them and start again.

Incidentally, now that I have the queasy image of the Evening Herald in my head, let's consider a headline from former Murder Squad (that's the disbanded and discredited murder squad) detective Gerry O'Carroll's column, which appears in the Herald each Wednesday.

Commenting on the appearance of radical Islamic speaker Anjem Choudary at Trinity College this week, O'Carroll's article was titled 'Hate-filled rants must be silenced.' This is surely the height of irony, given the bile that he spews weekly.

O'Carroll, as many Herald readers may be unaware, was involved in the Gardai's 'Heavy Gang' in the 1970s, which Amnesty International accused of extracting confessions from suspects using torture. O'Carroll, like others involved, denies the Heavy Gang existed.

He was also the legend who got Joanne Hayes to confess to murder in the 'Kerry Babies' saga, and apparently still maintains that she gave birth to both babies, even though scientific evidence has long since proven otherwise.

O'Carroll has current Evening Herald editor Steven Rea to thank for his elevation from dodgy copper to red-top ranter. Rea, as many people may not recall, was formerly the editor of the Garda Review, so to describe him as having friends in the Garda establishment would be akin to stating that Gary Glitter shows an interest in young ladies.

'Hate-filled rants must be silenced', alright. Let's start by petitioning Mr Rea to remove his discredited pal's column. And then we can move on to dealing with the dodgy cops still practising in the police service.

Two years to bring a single-suspect case to charges? The public deserves better than that.


aleskandrany said...

ur blog is nice, hope 2 be better :-)

MelloBiafra said...

Aleskandrany...stop right there! I feel a Denis Leary Stylee Flame holocaust coming on! Grrrrrrrrr!

MelloBiafra said...


MelloBiafra said...

Anodyne...grrrrr! Patronising...Grrrrrr!

MelloBiafra said...



[Sound of exploding aneurysm!]

Anonymous said...

"One of the worst records in europe"? Care to prove that???? Try one of the best records. Try pioneering much of what the world Law enforcement agencies now use as standard. In fact, try research.

JC Skinner said...

Thanks for your input, Sergeant. Care to remind us of your crime conviction rate?
Didn't think so.