Garda leadership and reform

 

Sir, – While the Policing Authority decides on the qualifications and experience of the next Garda commissioner, it is worth remembering that An Garda Síochána had two previous civilian commissioners – Michael Kinnane in 1938 and his successor in 1952, Daniel Costigan. – Yours, etc,

JOAN BOURKE,

Carbury,

Co Kildare.

Sir, – A headline reads “Garda reform to continue during search for new commissioner”, reflecting a statement from the Minister for Justice (September 13th). Given all the recent revelations about An Garda Síochána, he should have said that “reform must commence”. If he thinks there has been any reform to date, then he’s the wrong person for the job. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN CULLEN,

Rathfarnham,

Dublin 16.

Sir, – I can propose an ideal candidate for Garda commissioner. He is incorruptible, experienced, male, and although a foreign national, speaks excellent English. He is Chief Insp Gamache of the Quebec Sûreté. There is one major problem, however – Armand Gamache is a fictional character who features in a bestselling series of books by Louise Penny. The main storyline in her publications to date details a police force riddled with wrongdoing and a public lacking confidence in those tasked to protect them. Chief Insp Gamache, with the help of a loyal group of like-minded colleagues, exposes and ends the wrongdoing. We need a man like this. What a pity he isn’t real! – Yours, etc,

Dr MARY FRANCES,

Corndulla,

Co Galway.

Sir, – There is a growing consensus among our politicians that the next Garda commissioner should be sourced from outside the jurisdiction. This is part of a growing trend within the State sector. For example, senior positions in the Central Bank, RTÉ and the Abbey Theatre have been filled by external recruitment rather than from the ranks. I wonder about the rationale. Does it simply reflect a need, in our small country, to freshen the gene pool? In some cases, it seems to be driven by the need to show a clean break with past failure. Or is there some crisis in our national self-confidence? If one considers the biggest problems facing the country, those that are crying out for leaders of ability and imagination, one might despair of the lack of talent in our pool of politicians. Would it be too much to hope for that the next ministers for health, for housing and for transport might be recruited from outside the jurisdiction? – Yours, etc,

AODH Ó DOMHNAILL,

Dundrum,

Dublin 16.