Wednesday 29 March 2017

Armed garda chauffeurs of little real security value

A much-reduced car pool would work just as well, though it wouldn't be doing school runs, writes Emer O'Kelly

When the Minister for Health had red paint poured over her last week by another public representative, it was offensive. It might have been dangerous had the offending councillor not also been abusing her status as an invited guest at the function in question; she was close enough to the minister to be sure of her aim.

Throwing paint at someone from a distance could blind or scar them. As it was, the minister completed the job that she had come to do, presumably to the disappointment of her notice-box attacker.

There was certainly nothing Ms Harney's garda driver could have done to prevent this silly and pointless attack. Even back in the days when ministers' lives were in daily danger from the armed wing of Sinn Fein, dedicated as it openly was to the subversion and downfall of the State, ministers'armed protection was probably more symbolic than effective.

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