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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Photo Minute: This Is Africa

Photo Minute: This Is England

Barry Clifford: The rats within the Gardai

When you have a republic that since it’s foundation has beatified the Gardai to such a level that they cannot do wrong even when they do no right, then you have an Institutional problem. That is much more difficult because you are up against ‘the system’ and a culture that believes it’s own hype, where even the well intentioned find it hard to cross the line when they find within it’s ranks that the indefensible can no longer be defended. It is akin to a man walking naked into a den where a pride of lions wait in the dark to tear him to shreds and the lions cannot tell the difference between right and wrong because they are just hungry. That in lion terms is what the Gardai have become: instinct before thought and predator after prey.

The prey has been of late two of the most courageous Police officers that this country has ever seen since Kikenny last won an all Ireland football final. And they are still lost somewhere in the Serengeti. John Wilson is still trying to recover his health but at least he got out alive while still in one piece, albeit only in technical terms, while Maurice McCabe is still battling against the odds.

This Pulse system, aptly named, now serves to judge the Police in many ways and is still the heart of the matter, and I do not pardon the pun for that just about sums it all up with it’s wider implications. Maurice Mc Cabe is now on sick leave again, and for a man that has the face of kindness which masks raw courage we must be thankful that he fights on with our kindred support for it seems little else is supporting him. Within the Police force he is charged with ruining them when all along the boys in blue are doing a great job of doing just that without Maurice or John in the picture.

Entering that picture is another acting commissioner, Noirin O’ Sullivan parodying the clown that went before, the awful Callinan. Whether she gets the main role is another matter though no one may know the difference for she is already off to a good start with mealy mouthed responses to downright lies stating that management is in daily contact with Maurice Mc Cabe regarding his already well documented complaints of criminality within the Police force.

Between the lines, Sullivan is already letting slip her true feelings about the matter: “ We are committed to hearing our members who want to raise matters of concern. They may not always be right, but they must be listened to. We must discuss things in a much more open way.”

I can only read between the lines of that this way: “This is our Police force and though the rats within the Gardai may almost never be right they must be listened to. We must discuss things in an open way so we know what these rats are up to and eradicate them permanently for the greater good of the Police force.”

Barry Clifford