Updated: 30/03/17 : 04:30:21
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'Scalping' will not rejuvenate our police service

By Eugene McGloin
Political Editor


GARDA BOSS Noirin O'Sullivan made her name and fame through pure pretence.

She pretended to be a drug user and certainly fooled the key suppliers of Dublin back in the day.

Armed Violence

In those days my working base at the (original) Sunday Tribune was just around the corner from the once and future member of 'The Mockies.'

My admiration for that unit's innovation and operation, in the face of danger and potential armed violence, remains undimmed.

'The Mockies' did what it said on the tin, nothing more and nothing less.

They posed as drug users and gathered direct evidence on biggies in the burgeoning Dublin hard drugs scene of the 1980s, including heroin.

Such quarries are usually 'careful' to the point of obsessive as I'd found the previous year when posed as a drug addict in another Irish city.

Posed? Looking back, my evaluation would include 'dabbled' (dangerously) as a better description. Best left to the pros.

Sword Swipes

In a world where men were predominant for the best part of six decades Noirin O'Sullivan's bravery was noted by brass.

That can be a good and bad thing in any worthwhile career. 'Having your cards marked' is always a doubled-edged sword.

Today, we may even see one or two sword-swipes at Noirin O'Sullivan when she appears before an Oireachtas Joint Committee.

Having done more good in life than any of her critics ever did will count for little in the pomp and pomposity of politics.

Those who may have already made up their mind may take a sword-swipe in the hope to 'scalp' the Garda Commissioner. Then what?

Police Service

As we move towards a new model of police service in the Republic surely our politicians need to encourage external civilians towards the (Commissioner) top job, not scare them away.

Police service? I find every usage of the word ''Force'' detestable.

Force? The very word has past political overtones.....and undertones. At its best, check the word as an everyday synonym. Hardly inspiring. 

The 'root and branch' evaluation now promised by the Government should involve a major re-brand, beginning with the (English) name of the police service.

The Policing Authority should be the arbiters of whether or not Noirin O'Sullivan stays as Commissioner. They should decide, or not.

There is no point in keeping a dog if you want to bark yourself. The Policing Authority has been given a job.

Fireplace Fall

Politicians need to give the Authority what it says it is -- authority -- and grant it (and not themselves) the space, confidence, and 'permission' to be the authority.

Our police service may be showing (some) shambolic aspects as it ages and faces root 'n' branch change/reform after a century.

But it has also come a long way from the west of Ireland officer who fell into the station fireplace during a Commissioner's inspection tour.

The service has shown fortitude in dealing with serious crime, forbearance at being undervalued by politicians, and shown faith that it will all 'get better,' for them and for us. It better.