This post and the thread on the same topic at Political World forum, is a new departure for politicalworld.org. Its a Political World blog is making available for the first time via Scribd a new publication on a topic of great current political interest, much discussed on our forum – the fitness for purpose, or otherwise, of An Garda Síochana. This important piece of research goes back to the earliest days of the “Force” up to and including the Shell to Sea experience.Seán Ryan, who is very familiar with the study, has written the introduction to it below.
An Analysis of a Police Force Unfit for Purpose
A historical and contemporary account of political policing in Ireland
A compilation of writings by
Tom Hanahoe (journalist, formerly with Irish Press newspaper group).
Terence Conway (Spokesperson Shell to Sea).
John Monaghan (Spokesperson Pobal Chill Chomáin)
It’s a privilege to introduce this study.
Not knowing what I should focus on, I called Terence Conway, one of the authors. After telling me to get over myself he made a few suggestions that strike me as being ripe for the taking.
Enda Kenny our much less than glorious leader scoffs, in that witless way of his, at the idea of political policing, regularly. He scoffs despite the fact that his own constituency has been the focal point for political policing for many years. You’ve seen it on your televisions. RTE was only too glad to blare it at any given opportunity. People being beaten like cattle, off the streets, with retractable batons, by gardaí acting at their political best for the State and for Shell. Well, not like cattle. If such were the case, viewers would have recognised that for the criminal act that it would have been. Enda turned a blind eye towards political policing, even when in opposition.
The GSOC. Not fit for purpose. A mere paintjob of respectability, quickly applied in lieu of action after the Donegal scandal.
The constant refrain from parliament and the media is that, “We must restore public confidence in the gardaí.”
This study unambiguously shows that the gardaí should never have enjoyed the trust of the public, ever.
The media and the State have long held copies of this study. To date the only outlet to acknowledge its existence was Village Magazine. It seems that Politicalworld shall be the second, with the study itself being published, to speak on its own behalf.
For good measure, Steven Bennett has joined the forum and will take part in the discussion. Steven is easily Ireland’s most arrested man, for a number of years running, I’d guess. His insight will be a valuable addition to this work. It’s one thing to understand what political policing is. It’s quite another to understand what its actual effects are. The blowback, into the rest of one’s life. And of course, how effective it all is. Wouldn’t be much point in doing it, if all that effort didn’t achieve something…
Anyhow, let’s come to the end of this. Please read this study and please distribute it wantonly.
Seán Ryan March 2015
Discussion on the study is welcome here, or on the Political World forum. For a larger print version, read here LINK