The bravery of gardaí must be recognised
It is not an easy time to be a member of An Garda Síochána. The force is beset by industrial relations turmoil while its senior management is hit by controversy. That is why it is worth going back to first principles and remembering how this force stood four-square behind our democratically elected governments through some very dark decades.
This weekend, an important anniversary almost passed us without much notice. On October 16, 1976, Garda Michael Clerkin was killed by an IRA booby-trap bomb at a deserted cottage near Portarlington, Co Laois.
Garda Clerkin, aged only 24, and his colleagues had been lured to the spot by an anonymous caller to Portlaoise Garda Station. Four other gardaí were badly hurt - one of them was blinded for life.