From Socialist Voice, August 2006

Who guards the Garda?

The Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, has pushed ahead with his plan to set up a Garda reserve. There is strong opposition from the two Garda representative bodies to this proposal in relation to the role and the level of training this reserve would receive.
    The recent scandals affecting all levels of the Garda Síochána has once again drawn the spotlight to the question, Who guards the Garda?
    From Abbeylara to Donegal and right around the country, more and more complaints are emerging that paint a picture of a force out of control, with no democratic accountability. Gardaí have been involved in the stitching up of suspects, planting false evidence, beating suspects, even planting bombs and guns. The list is endless.
    Clearly what is needed is something similar to the Policing Boards that now exist in the North of Ireland. We need local democratic forums in every community to monitor the work and actions of the Gardaí in local communities, linked to a national elected forum for the control and supervision of the overall work of the Garda Síochána.
    We know that policing in every society is a political question, despite the nonsense talked about the police being “above politics.” Every community is crucially aware of the problems they face, from anti-social behaviour to wholesale drug-dealing and organised crime gangs. Establishing a Garda reserve force without democratically accountable structures will not solve the growing alienation of many people, and in particular young people, in relation to the Gardaí. It will only create what a lot of people feel are community spies.

Home page  >  Publications  >  Socialist Voice  >  August 2006  >  Who guards the Garda?
Baile  >  Foilseacháin  >  Socialist Voice  >  Lúnasa 2006  >  Who guards the Garda?