Garda Brutality in Ireland : Business As Usual
Dangerous Men Loose in Dublin
The so-called investigation into the death of Donegal man Richie Barron has turned out to be a cesspool of all that is rotten and corrupt about our police force; harassment, intimidation and attempts to frame the McBrearty family. Their punishment - a transfer to Dublin! What an insult to the people of both Donegal and Dublin.
Dangerous Men Loose in Dublin
Garda Brutality : Business As Usual
Do you recognise these five names -Martin Anderson, Thomas
Rattigan, James McDwyer, Martin Leonard,Patrick McDermott? All of
these men were named in the Morris Tribunal report as being
responsible for an investigation which was "prejudiced, tendentious
and utterly negligent in the highest degree".
Their so-called investigation into the death of Donegal man Richie
Barron has turned out to be a cesspool of all that is rotten and
corrupt about our police force; harassment, intimidation and attempts
to frame the McBrearty family - you'll have read about it elsewhere
so there's no need to go in to the details here. Their punishment -a
transfer to Dublin! What an insult to the people of both Donegal and
What about John McGinley or Joe Shelley -have you heard of them?
They were both senior officers criticised in the Morris report who
were punished by ....being allowed to retire on full pension! Noel
Conroy? He's the current Garda Commissioner who on 10th May in his
submission to the Morris Tribunal claimed that the investigation into
Richie Barron's death was carried out "in an efficient and thorough
manner" (This is the same investigation which Justice Morris called
"shocking" and "scandalous").
Furthermore Conroy was head of the cops' "Crime and Security
Division "from 1992 to 1994 at a time when, according to the first
Morris report "....the direction of Crime and Security was not such
as to inspire confidence." You've heard of Michael McDowell? As
Attorney General he did his level best to ensure that the Morris
Tribunal was never established. As Minister for Justice he totally
ignored the recommendations of the first Morris report.
The stench of corruption from the cops is overwhelming and goes
right to the very top.
As well as the gross dishonesty and rottenness which has been
exposed in Donegal and which everyone now knows about, there are also
several other high-profile cases which show that this dishonesty is
extremely widespread 14-year-old Brian Rossiter died in garda custody
in Clonmel Co Tipperary almost 3 years ago. The response of Garda
authorities, Noel Conroy as Garda Commissioner and Michael McDowell
as Minister for Justice was reminiscent of the response years earlier
to the Donegal situation - a response characterised by delay, denial
and cover-up. Only now, grudgingly, is McDowell establishing an
inquiry into what happened to Brian Rossiter.
In June of this year,a 20-year-old man from Dublin's inner city,
Terence Wheelock, spent over 2 weeks in a coma in the Mater hospital
after receiving injuries while in garda custody in Store Street. No
explanation of how he received his injuries has yet been given.
In May 2002,cops openly battered participants at a Reclaim the
Streets Party on Dublin's Dame Street. When a number of cops were
charged as a result, their colleagues rallied around in the manner of
the three monkeys -See no Evil, Hear no Evil, Say No Evil.
The constant refrain from garda witnesses at the trials was 'I saw
In September 2000,a constituent of current Environment Minister,
Dick Roche complained to him that he had been beaten by gardai, and
showed him the bruises to prove it. Roche made a statement in support
of his constituent. However the senior garda appointed to investigate
the complaint on behalf of the Garda Complaints Board deemed Roche's
statement not worthy of inclusion in the relevant file .If senior
cops can decide to ignore the statements of politicians, how much
more can they decide to ignore complaints and statements made by
ordinary working class people.
Indeed,there were 1,232 complaints made to the Garda Siochana
Complaints Board in 2004, which represents an increase of nearly 5%on
the 2003 figure of 1,175.And,as we all know, many people don't bother
making complaints because we are all too well aware that it is
usually a waste of time as the cops end up investigating themselves.
Garda brutality is all too common and is encountered on a regular
basis, especially by working-class youths. Garda corruption is
nothing new and even though the Dail has now passed Michael
McDowell's Garda Bill, the Gardai will continue to be unaccountable
to ordinary people.
Corruption among the cops is not just a case of a 'few rotten
apples'. The entire orchard is infected. Ultimately, the Garda
Siochana exists to protect the private property and wealth of big
business, to uphold the status quo. It might take ages for the cops
to respond if your house is burgled but they'll turn up fairly
quickly if you put a picket on your workplace or blockade a bin
truck. It's because they exist to protect the status quo that they
know they can get away with almost anything with the blessing of
From Workers Solidarity 87 - July 2005