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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Armies cannot stop an idea who’s time has come

                                  The ever defensive Police Commissioner (right) Noirin O'Sullivan

The Garda or police force in Ireland is steadily going the way of the Catholic church and in almost exactly the same fashion. The similarities are striking: both started off the same way on the dawning of the free state. The Catholic church filled the vacuum left by the departing Church Of England, and the Garda stepped in where the Royal Irish Constabulary stepped out.  Both jackbooted about the place in uniforms of black and blue as unquestioned reverence and respect stroked their egos. If you were accused by either of a religious or civil crime there was a price to be paid by social boycotting and the necktie of shame by the former, and the threat of prison by the latter, whether you were guilty or innocent. Ah, those were the good old days for some. Like all organisations, when you fall asleep at the wheel when your hand is in the cookie jar, the grey fog of hopeless optimism by the endearing public slowly starts to fade before it quickens apace. 

The Catholic church is no more in Ireland in principle even with the falling numbers going to church. That is simply just the weekly evidence of that demise along with the monthly news of more cover-ups of abuse accompanied with the usual testy and false promises for reform of the root and branch of its rotten wood.  It is the same with the Police/Garda. 

Bishop Casey and Fr Michael Cleary was for the Irish Catholic church their Waterloo. It huffed and puffed, creaked and groaned under the weight of them when a lot worse was yet to come. Gerry Adams said several years ago that Ireland had lost it’s sense of outrage. That statement was in essence in every sense of the word absolutely true. It took the world from Russia to Nigeria to be outraged about the burial of almost 800 babies in a mass grave by Catholic nuns in Galway before Ireland was. Ireland went along eventually under the guise of a more chastened country. For the Garda, their Waterloo was Maurice McCabe.

                                                  Hero for all time, Garda Maurice McCabe

“Armies cannot stop an idea who’s time has come.” (Victor Hugo). In order for an idea to form solidly against the optics of the existing ideas in its various forms and beliefs or historical time scales, they have to be shattered first. A bad force cannot win over a good force that keeps on coming and refuses to give in. Maurice McCabe, the Garda whistleblower, put everything on the line and never gave in. The weakness in the Police force is that at the end of the day they were paid mercenaries while Maurice McCabe was driven by principle and conviction. He exposed the corruption of the force to its core. There rarely is a more dangerous adversary than that. If this idea has not come already it sure is about to and it is all transparency, accountability and nothing else.

Because Maurice looked kindly and unassuming gave courage to the former Garda commissioner, Martin O’ Callinan, (he of the Pinocchio nose that just kept on growing) and the next pit bull commissioner, Noirin O’ Sullivan (who looks like a female commandant of a World War 2 Gulag) to crush him. The rest is history and where we are today: secrets and lies, and new tribunals investigating the last tribunals and so on, watered out by a government of weak and fickle coalitions. One thing is clear after the fog: this police force has lost all its credibility and any legal legitimacy in spirit.   

                              The last Police Commissioner, Martin (Pinocchio) Callinan

Can the citizen take this anymore? Only as long until he cannot is the short answer. His wallet certainly cannot as tribunals or other committee’s, which are little more than farcical and facial smokescreens, cost him money and a lot of it. Civil servants are now paid over 40% more than those in the private sector. This great imbalance is as dangerous as Ireland’s figures on GDP.  The reality is we are the second most indebted country in the world! Some corruption was overlooked during the Celtic Tiger era as it was thought it would just spoil the party. That was until the party was discovered to be one giant Ponzi scheme. The infamous man who’s name was lent to that scheme looks like a choirboy when you compare him to the God and Police squads of this nation. An idea based on an ideology wrapped around trust is now marked against these two squads and is gone forever. Can we take it anymore indeed.

Barry Clifford