An Garda Síochána: Little or no credibility left

Credibility is precious but finite. Without it, we are secondary, marginalised things, drifting in a fog of uncertainty.

In public life, it is even more precious. Without it, all relationships are shot full of holes. 

Tragically, we are near that point with An Garda Síochána. Scandal after scandal, failures in administration or accountability mean that our police have little or no credibility left. 

The needle is deep in the red zone.

The recent conferences, where one group of officers blamed the other for everything from fake drink-driving tests to the investigation of whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe by Tulsa, just adds to the sense of drift, delusion, and deception.

That those conferences were in session as an Oireachtas committee heard contradictory evidence over the misuse of funds at the Templemore training centre deepens implausibility. That those events were followed by the revelation that the civil servant responsible for verifying crime data has told Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan he cannot endorse a report on homicide categorisation submitted to the Policing Authority last month stretches credibility even further.

That those events were followed by the revelation that the civil servant responsible for verifying crime data has told Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan he cannot endorse a report on homicide categorisation submitted to the Policing Authority last month stretches credibility even further.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald is expected to update Cabinet today on the latest in a long line of root-and-branch reviews of the force. 

At this point it would be foolish to pretend that the Government’s credibility is not at risk over these matters too. 

Maybe they should remind themselves that, unlike our police force, they can be voted out of office.


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