Breath-tests and Garda reforms


Sir, – Hot on the heels of the fake breath-test scandal and the financial irregularities at the training college, the Policing Authority reports that An Garda Síochána has completed less than one-fifth of 50 claimed reforms (News, September 18th).

It’s now clear that the Garda cannot be relied on to accurately assess, or report, its own activities.

The Department of Justice should immediately appoint outside auditors to conduct an annual audit of the Garda, to include unannounced inspections of a representative sample of Garda stations.

“Raiding the guards” may be the only way to instil and enforce the very necessary culture change. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – Was it mandatory or compulsory for gardaí to elevate the figures to falsify the breath-test figures? A Jesuitical approach offers no hope. – Yours, etc,



Co Offaly.

Sir, – Your headline “Varadkar calls for breath-test sanctions” (September 16th) suggests that the Taoiseach is a passive observer of events in the Garda Síochána. He needs to be reminded that he is in charge, and that his comments should be decisive. Your headline should have read “Varadkar promises that there will be breath-test sanctions”. – Yours, etc,


Tankardstown, Co Meath.

Sir, – They huffed and they puffed and they blew the force down. – Yours, etc,


Duiblin 12.

Sir, – I agree with Robert Strunz (September 16th) that the Garda Representative Association’s position on the breath test scandal, that its members were simply following orders, is totally inadequate. However, does anyone seriously believe the inference of the recent official report that the breath-test scandal was caused entirely by the Garda rank and file? It tells you something about the disconnect from reality and complacent culture within the ranks of senior gardaí that any reasonable observer could be expected to buy such an extraordinarily unlikely conclusion. In the context, it is, perhaps, unsurprising that the GRA is crudely trying to pass the blame parcel back, from whence it came, to senior gardaí. – Yours, etc,


Arbour Hill,

Dublin 7.