Investigating white-collar crime


Sir. – The report by Pat Leahy that the Taoiseach seeks proposals to tackle white-collar crime from the Minister for Justice and the Minister for Enterprise is heartening and a recognition of “ongoing public concern” in this area for many justifiable reasons (June 26th). However, I quailed when reading that one of the considerations proposed was the setting up of a new unit in the Garda to tackle “organised crime, cyber crime, serious fraud and suspicious financial transactions”.

Given what is in the public domain, perhaps the Garda Síochána is not the best option for a new unit for this vital oversight and investigative function in our society.

I suggest that the personnel recruited to this new unit should not be “graduates” of the Garda college in Templemore but civilians and holders of recognised academic qualifications, or those who have served in appropriate positions in other police services or with the Defence Forces, for example.

I strongly feel that we need a new approach to policing in this republic. We need a new professionalism, a new discipline in the ranks, an actual recognition that a rank structure is vital to efficiency, accountability for action or non-action, and a force that is not straitened and confined by the one-door access policy to the uniformed ranks, such as has been the policy of An Garda Síochána since the foundation of the force on August 8th, 1922.

The time for change is demonstrably here, and there is an expectation, in my opinion, that this impetus should really emanate from the Department of the Taoiseach. – Yours, etc,


Inistioge, Co Kilkenny.

Sir, – While Leo Varadkar’s request for resources to fight white-collar crime is welcome, I think he would agree that never before in the history of good intentions has the boat been so spectacularly and comprehensively missed. – Yours, etc,