Friday 18 August 2017

From 'Heavy Gang' to Bailey case, how gardai haven't learnt lessons

Don Buckley, who exposed the full horror of the Kerry Babies case 30 years ago, says it was just one example of garda misbehaviour

Joanne Hayes of the Kerry babies case
Joanne Hayes of the Kerry babies case
Ian Bailey
Judge Frederick Morris

Don Buckley

Reflecting on the Kerry Babies case 30 years on leads to two apparently contradictory conclusions. The first is the bad news that the irregular practices of some gardai then are still evident 30 years later in current controversies like the Bailey case in west Cork.

The good news is that despite hostility from other members and superiors within the force individual gardai are still prepared to stand up against the malpractices of some of their colleagues, often at great personal cost. These days, they are called whistle-blowers and, thankfully, they have always existed.

There is a continuum of wrongdoing within the force which my colleague Joe Joyce and myself first highlighted 37 years ago in 1977, well before the Kerry Babies case in April 1984.

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