An Garda Síochána – a crisis of trust

 

Sir, – Is the independent review of the Garda Síochána announced on Tuesday by the Government a different independent review to the independent review demanded by the Independent members of Government a few months ago? I’m getting very confused. – Yours, etc,

CONAN DOYLE,

Kilkenny.

Sir, – Surely, if a Garda stops a car at a checkpoint, sticks his highly trained nose in the driver’s window, takes a deep breath and doesn’t get the smell of drink, he is entitled to log the event as a breath test. He should also be commended for saving the State the price of a disposable plastic mouthpiece. – Yours, etc,

KEVIN TIERNAN,

Navan,

Co Meath.

Sir, – The constant media and Opposition questions to various Ministers about whether they still have confidence in the Garda Commissioner are missing the point. Removing one person will not remove the systemic culture of ineptitude, incompetence, mismanagement and cover-ups that have become an ingrained culture in the Garda Síochána. The never-ending drip-drip of Garda scandals has left the institution so beyond recovery that disbandment is the only honourable way out. The Garda name and logos need to be removed from caps and barracks and donated to museums. A new police service of Ireland should be established for the 21st century. Current serving gardaí would be eligible to join, provided of course that they passed a background check to show that they weren’t involved in any scandals and have the right ethical attitude. The senior ranks should be opened to recruitment from foreign police forces to bring new leadership and a fresh insight into modern policing. All is not lost as the current Garda crises can be turned into a policing opportunity. Assuming of course that we have the right political will, foresight and capability to see, grasp and implement this opportunity. – Yours, etc,

JASON FITZHARRIS,

Swords,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – The latest Garda debacle is strangely reminiscent of the hyper-inflation of production levels under Soviet five-year plans. Garda Stakhanov should be proud of himself! – Yours, etc,

DONAL MOORE,

Ferrybank,

Waterford.

Sir, – Matthew Elderfield, formerly head of the Bermuda Monetary Authority, took over as head of the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority, from January 2010.

As an outsider he was able to get to the source of the problems within the authority.

It is now very obvious that An Garda Síochána needs a Matthew Elderfield. – Yours, etc,

DAMIEN CARROLL,

Kingswood,

Dublin 24.

Sir, – May I suggest that An Garda Síochána move its website to a new web domain, www.garda.lie. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL COURTNEY,

Clare.

Sir, – Do I detect a touch of “the pot calling the kettle black” in the outrage from certain Oireachtas members condemning the Garda? I refer to those members who are quite happy to flout laws, regulations and directives that do not suit their agendas. While I do not question their sincerity, a little reflection on “motes and beams in the eye” might be in order. – Yours, etc,

MAURICE CURTIN,

Cork.

Sir, – Let those who have never approached a member of the Garda for a “favour” cast the first stone. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN GRAHAM,

Dublin 13.

Sir, – Was any overtime paid out to gardaí related to the million bogus breath tests? I’m just wondering. – Yours, etc,

GABRIELLE WHITTY,

Dundrum,

Dublin 16.

Sir, – First it was tribunals, then commissions of inquiry, and now we are to have a root-and-branch investigation. In my opinion these are all carefully crafted exercises designed by “the system” to provide a smokescreen to ensure a sufficient degree of obfuscation in order that no individual is held to account.

Will the root-and-branch investigation identify any dead wood? I doubt it. – Yours, etc,

MIKE CORMACK,

Blackrock,

Co Dublin.