An Garda Síochána has been subjected to sustained criticism, sadly, most of it justified, over recent years.
The force’s credibility is almost shot through and it is hard to underestimate the challenge rebuilding it represents. The fact that last year gardaí held a gun to the Government’s head and threatened an illegal strike over pay grievously undermined the respect they had enjoyed since the force’s foundation.
Those are the negatives, but this weekend we had an example of the selfless courage gardaí often show in defence of this Republic. Gardaí foiled New IRA terrorists by seizing a staggering 6kg of Semtex in Dublin’s north inner city.
This reminds us that a rancid strand of republicanism always had and still has nothing but contempt for our democracy. It also reminds us that the gardaí stand between us and, there is no other way to describe this, the evil of terrorism.
In this, the age of the suicide bomber, it takes special courage to confront those believed to be carrying explosives — just as gardaí did this weekend. It also shows that the garda intelligence service can match their bravery. A job well done.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved