My cousins in the NYPD would know how to handle these thugs
Published 02/02/2013 | 06:00
Right, people – time to talk turkey. We are at war. The savage, brutal assassination of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, a family man in his 40s who was simply doing his duty, can be seen as nothing less than that – a declaration of war.
But that cowardly act has been coming for a while.
The weird synthesis between 'ordinary' criminal gangs and so-called dissidents has been happening for years in Dublin.
And while most of us are perfectly content with these losers wiping each other out in their internecine feuds, when they attacked Detective Donohoe, they attacked you.
They attacked me. They attacked the very fabric and security of our State.
In fact, from talking to people, both in the gardaí and just in general this past week, I have not seen such ferocious, visceral anger since the murders of Veronica Guerin and Detective Garda Jerry McCabe.
Both of those were what you could call 'transgressive murders' – killings which crossed the line.
After all, any criminal with any brains knows that if you kill a cop, or even a journalist, then the authorities are going to make it their life's work to bring you to justice.
And as fine a job as the gardaí try to do, with infamously limited resources, investigating your common or garden gangland shooting, Detective Donohoe's death has made this personal for them. And they won't rest until they have found the men responsible.
In fact, tempers are running so high that half the people I spoke to simply want those responsible put up against a wall and shot.
"Well, they didn't give Donohoe a trial, did they?" was the attitude of one source I spoke to, who was visibly upset and shaking with anger.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm no law-and-order peddler.
I'm not a card-carrying member of the hang 'em flog 'em brigade.
And I have an instinctive revulsion towards mob justice or acting out of emotion rather than logic and due process.
And yet, and yet . . .
I can completely understand and, to a large degree, agree with such sentiments.
Because people are angry.
In fact, I've never seen so many normally level-headed people so incandescent with rage at the murder of that policeman.
But in many ways, this outpouring of rage is simply the culmination of a long-held resentment at how brazen the dissidents have become.
Perhaps the best example comes with the disgraceful farce that was Alan Ryan's farcical funeral.
Here we had, in the public streets of the capital city of this country, checkpoints set up by terrorists, who refused law-abiding Irish men and women entry into their own area.
Here we had a situation where these morons – and trust me, that is all they are – standing over a coffin in a public place firing a volley of shots while wearing their stupid little paramilitary uniforms.
This was enraging enough for the rest of us but what really stuck in people's craw was the fact that gardaí simply stood by and allowed it to happen.
Their passive approach, at the time, was explained by the fact that they didn't want to 'inflame' an already volatile situation.
As I wrote at the time, if you or I were to simply go up to the top of the road where we live and set up a barricade, refusing access to our neighbours and then started firing into the air, then we would be reefed by the cops in no time, so why was this shower allowed to get away with doing exactly that?
Effectively, on that day, An Garda Síochána ceded control of the city to a gang of thugs.
I am not the only person to wonder if they had gone in hard, cracking heads if they had to, would the horrific events of this day last week have happened.
Instead, the gardaí handed a massive morale and propaganda victory for the terrorists.
Anyone who has even a vague comprehension of human nature knows that the only way to beat a bully is to be a bigger bully.
You cannot reason with a bully. You cannot placate or bribe them.
You have to make them fear you.
It might not be PC to say so, but it is the truth.
So what are we to do? Are there any solutions?
Well, the New York side of my family are all in the NYPD (I know: Irish cops in New York. The family's a walking cliché at times) and I remember cousin Danny explaining to me that they calmed the city down by simply becoming a bigger and badder gang than the skels they were chasing.
They earned fear and a grudging respect from the gangs in Brooklyn, where Danny was based.
Times are different now, and nobody wants to see Irish police behaving like characters from The Shield.
But there is, for me, no doubt that it has become time to start looking at the reintroduction of some form of internment.
I know, I know. Irish people have an instinctive objection to internment.
But if you remove old prejudices and look at the way things are today, then surely the idea of taking these terrorists – and half of them have their own bloody Facebook page, for goodness sake – off our streets it's something worth considering.
Because remember this – if we don't start taking some pretty drastic steps, then I fear that Detective Donohoe won't be the last hero to lose his life to these thugs.
This is war.