Garda controversies


Sir, Further to Vincent Browne’s piece on Garda dysfunction and Irish society’s long failure to confront it (“Garda dysfunctionality is nothing new”, Opinion & Analysis, March 31st), when, oh when, will we wake up in this country to the fact that we are only hurting ourselves by our general tolerance of corruption and incompetence? – Yours, etc,


Arbour Hill,

Dublin 7.

Sir, – I see the Government has commissioned a review of An Garda Síochána following the latest controversy. Might I suggest that they take a trip down to the Silicon Docks and commission something else while they’re at it? I am sure the enterprising nerds down there could easily rustle up a bot or app of some kind to automatically commission reviews, inquiries or even tribunals on any given issue, based on the level of public outrage. All it would take is some parsing of the volume of Twitter outrage or indeed letters to The Irish Times on any given controversy.

By my count, there have been 17 reports into the Garda commissioned in the last five years so there is plenty of raw data on which to base the algorithm.

Once the outrage reaches a certain level, the bot could automatically issue a press release. It could send a text to a random retired judge too, assuming they have their phones turned on at all these days.

Wouldn’t it save Enda Kenny and Frances Fitzgerald an awful lot of hassle? They could then head on home and take up gardening or something. I can’t see much other use for the pair of them, once the whole “responding to controversy and commissioning reports as a result” gig is taken off their hands, can you? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 8.

Sir, – Given that we’ve learned more about historic and current Garda dubious practices during Nóirín O’Sullivan’s watch than in the tenure of several of her predecessors, calls for her to stand down are misguided. Maybe there is now an environment within the Garda for a lot of suppressed information to surface in the knowledge that it will get an airing. If she was no longer there, perhaps the outing of malpractices would cease?

Our eyes have been opened by recent revelations, some going on for decades and hints of more to come. I’m sure there are some folk both in the Garda and elsewhere extremely uncomfortable at these and yet undisclosed misdemeanours being investigated in public. To my mind, shooting the messenger at this stage could be counterproductive to rooting out the bad apples and restoring confidence in the Garda. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 4.