Sunday 11 December 2016

Why our under-resourced gardaí need public support

Published 16/04/2016 | 02:30

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. Photo: Keith Heneghan
Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. Photo: Keith Heneghan

A few hours after the Sheriff Street gangland killing, I saw a guard stop a cyclist who flew through red lights - almost ramming a pedestrian. Two gardaí were standing nearby and the older one flagged him down at once to deliver a reprimand about respecting traffic signals. The chastened cyclist - young and male - proceeded on his way with caution.

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Clearly, An Garda Síochána had bigger fish to fry that day, following yet another public shooting - this one a case of mistaken identity. But it struck me, watching the guard do his job just a stone's throw from Sheriff Street, that here was an experienced police officer who understood the importance of prevention, and took a few moments to attend to it.

Nobody was hurt in that particular incident. But it happened on an intersection of Dublin's O'Connell Street at rush hour, the cityscape dense with people and vehicles; the swift rebuke - "What do you do when you see a red light?" asked the guard - may well ward off an accident in the future.

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