GARDA PROFESSIONALISM?

So good old Supt Taylor has been allowed to retire. It seems there was no legal basis to refuse his application. How incredible! Not of course surprising. The fact that disciplinary proceedings were in train against him was not a good enough reason to refuse his application until those proceedings were terminated. Of course, had they been successful Supt Taylor could have been dismissed. Could the rules have been changed to prevent Supt Taylor disappearing into the sunset? Oh God no! So now the two most senior gardaí, who engaged in a smear campaign against a garda of lesser rank have been allowed to scarper with pockets laden with cash. Will Callinan and Taylor be charged? Oh God no! After all the political class expressed confidence in these gents because they were acting ‘professionally’. What other way could a garda act in the course of his/her duty but ‘professionally? This has been the repeated response to garda misbehaviour since the force was founded!

In the 1970s the ‘Heavy Gang’ (thugs in uniform) beat the shit out of suspects in custody. Terrible wrongs resulted which cost the taxpayers a small fortune. In the 1990s gardaí planted drugs in a nite club and in another incident tried to frame men for a murder which in reality was a hit and run accident. Terrible wrongs resulted and it cost the taxpayers millions. When concerns were raised the response was the usual – the gardaí were acting ‘professionally’. Fast track another 20 years and in the 2010s we see the carry on of Callinan and Taylor. And, of course, the wrongdoings exposed by the whistleblower were poo-pooed. After all the gardaí were acting ‘professionally’! They were, weren’t they? And this latest episode will undoubtedly cost the taxpayer more money. Will anyone be held accountable? Of course not! Now very serious questions are being asked about the relationship between investigating gardaí and complainants in cases of allegations of sexual crimes. What hairy old mantra is likely to be trotted out? The garda were acting professionally!

Is this the same land of ‘professionalism’ highlighted above? What terrible wrongs have been done to 100s, if not 1000s of men who have been convicted on the uncorroborated evidence of a single person following questionable relationships between the gardaí and that single witness?

Callinan and Taylor can rest easy. They will never be paraded in public in handcuffs and photographed so this ignominious image can be published. This happened recently to a frail 82 year old man in Donegal who was then locked in a cabin no bigger than a dog kennel and transported in a van for hours. An animal would have been treated more humanely. This is one of the many horrible forms of elder abuse practiced by the Irish Prison Service which is intended to punish, which is obviously cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.