News Brendan O’Connor

Sunday 31 August 2014

Pulse: a gossip mag for gardai

Published 23/03/2014 | 02:30

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WHEN you think about it, the Garda Commissioner is right. If you look at what he said that infamous day in front of the PAC, he clearly wasn't referring to the character of the garda whistleblowers when he used the word "disgusting". Let's look at what he actually said.

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"I find it quite extraordinary. Quite clearly we have two people out of a force of over 13,000 who are making extraordinary and serious allegations, and there isn't a whisper from anybody else about this corruption, this malpractice and all those things they are alleging against their fellow officers. Frankly, I find it quite disgusting."

Clearly, what the Commissioner is saying is that it was disgusting that only two men out of 13,000 members of the gardai were making these extraordinary and serious allegations. The slur here is on the other 12,998 men. Why were they silent, the Commissioner is asking. You would have thought they too would have stood up to the corruption in the Force. But no, as the Commissioner says, not a whisper from them. Disgusting.

Of course, on Friday we found out why the other 12,998 mightn't have time to check out corruption on Pulse. It seems that they were too busy using Pulse to look up stuff about minor celebrities, Irish models, sports people and RTE 'personalities'.

On Friday Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes gave us the results of his office's audit of data protection in the Gardai, Siochana, and basically he revealed that certain people in the gardai seemed to think that Pulse was a class of a social-networking site where you would log on to hear the latest gossip.

While the rest of us make do with Independent.ie to get up-to-date online news on Ireland's minor celebrities, gardai would simply log on to Pulse to get the real juice. I suppose it's an easy mistake to make, in a way. "Pulse" does sound like a celebrity mag – like Heat, or even Nuts.

Indeed, with the country being short of cash and everything, maybe the gardai should consider marketing the Pulse system to civilians:

"There's a reason why Pulse magazine has been a favourite with gardai for years. Now, for the first time ever, Ireland's hottest celebrity gossip is available to you, the man on the street. Know everything about the celebs before they even know it themselves. The dirt they didn't want you to see. Pulse: the hottest celebrity online gossip magazine. Sign up for our premium service and you can even access details of your friends, family, neighbours and enemies. Pulse: Tomorrow's celebrity gossip, today."

(Footnote: Terms and conditions apply. Anyone found to be using the Pulse system for noble reasons will be publicly disgraced and their lives ruined. Past performance, no matter how bad, is no guarantee anyone senior will apologise or resign in the future.)

Sunday Independent

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