Tuesday 25 October 2016

Shock as two people do something

Published 29/05/2016 | 02:30

Policing Authority chair Josephine Feehily Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Policing Authority chair Josephine Feehily Photo: Frank Mc Grath

The country was left reeling last week as not one, but two people actually did things. What added to the shock was that they just did them on the spot. There was no long period of review or reflection, no "kicking the can down the road". They just acted.

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There were numerous complaints at high levels about this un-Irish behaviour, while most people are still processing what happened and will come up with a verdict on the matter after a period of reflection, when no one remembers or cares anymore.

Many are saying now that the incident where Canadian Ambassador Kevin Vickers tackled a protester at Grangegorman on Thursday could have been predicted and prevented.

"Vickers has form in this department," said one senior source, "Everyone knows he took decisive action in the Canadian House of Commons in 2014. So the question now has to be how was this man even allowed into the country in the first place. Secondly, why was it not explained to him that this is not how we do things here? The gardai would have got to the protester eventually. There was no need to act so quickly."

The country was still reeling from this when, later the same day, the whole thing was compounded by another person doing something. That evening, Josephine Feehily, the chair of the Policing Authority, had what was apparently a calm and cordial four-hour meeting with the Garda Commissioner.

"And there," said a source, "The matter should have rested. Feehily should have joined everyone else in expressing her confidence in the Commissioner and the Force and then she should have said she would do a report on the meeting at some stage in the future or whatever. What goes on behind closed doors should stay behind closed doors."

But Feehily shocked everyone by issuing a statement just an hour after the meeting.

"An hour!" said one source, "It's outrageous. You can't just be telling people what happened an hour later. What if we all had to do that? People would know in real time what was going on! The proper time for that statement would have been in a year or so, after lawyers for all relevant parties were able to object to most of the contents of the statement."

What's worse was that Feehily openly expressed concern about the gardai.

"It was almost like she was having these thoughts in her head and then actually saying them out of her mouth! The woman is out of control," said another source.

When we asked a Government spokesperson last night if Enda Kenny would consider taking up this bold new trend by actually doing things, they claimed he already was.

"Didn't he stick a load of his buddies into the Seanad the other day and then head off to play air guitar at Bruce?" the spokesman said. "He is a man of action."

In the meantime, the Department of Justice is reportedly considering getting superhero costumes made for Vickers and Feehily in the hope that they might clean up gangland.

The plan is understood to be going into an internal review process and there should be some news on a decision by 2020.

Sunday Independent

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