Gardaí in balaclavas

 

Sir, – I hope that we never see again our gardaí on our streets carrying out their duties wearing balaclavas as they have always been fully accountable to the general public for all their actions and behaviour and have given us outstanding service.

We saw other people dressed in balaclavas and accountable to no one other than their employer, which is a very serious development. – Yours, etc,

EAMONN WALSH,

Dublin 12.

Sir, – There was a time, in the not too distant past, when gardaí were on the opposing side to the men in the balaclavas. – Yours,etc,

BERNIE LINNANE,

Dromahair,

Co Leitrim.

Sir, – I see Sinn Féin is objecting to the wearing of balaclavas! – Yours, etc,

BRIAN MORRIS,

Blackrock,Co Louth.

Sir, – The new Garda commissioner, Drew Harris, offered some hope when he spoke in Templemore last week. “We must be operationally honest. That means acting in the best interests of the public. That means being up-front with people. That means treating everyone we meet with respect, dignity and empathy,” he told new recruits to An Garda Síochána.

Then, yesterday evening gardaí wearing balaclavas arrived in North Frederick Street to protect unidentified balaclava-wearing men as they secured a building which had been occupied by protesters attempting to highlight the homelessness crisis in Dublin City. The balaclava-wearing men, who declined to identify themselves to your reporter, then left the scene in a van bearing no front registration plate.

It appears the only people required to identify themselves in this sinister event were members of the protesting public. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN FARRELL,

Kilmactranny,

Co Sligo.

Sir, – Una Mullally asks “Why shouldn’t properties that are empty long-term, or that landlords have been sitting on for years, be occupied, and squatted” in her article “North Frederick Street looks like proof system is conspiring against people” (Opinion & Analysis, September 13th).

The answer to this question is quite simple. The reason you should not is because people have rights over their own property.

One person or group of persons does not have the right to occupy,take, or use another person’s property because they feel that the owner is not using the property in a manner they see fit.

While the onus is of course on the Government to encourage landlords and developers to make their assets available for rental or development, at the end of the day we live in a society where all of us are entitled to determine what we do with any property we possess – and this is something we should all be thankful for. – Yours, etc,

DEIRDRE COOPER,

Dublin 16.

Sir, – The Garda must be open and transparent in a democratic society. There is no room for masked men upholding the law. – Yours, etc,

BILL KEE,

Skerries,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – If only the instruments of the State could show the same zeal and heavy-handedness addressing the actual housing crisis as they do against those protesting it. – Yours, etc,

EOIN KELLEHER,

Rathfarnham,

Dublin 14 .