Fashion police probe 'garda' clothes sale
THE Garda Siochana is to launch an investigation into the alleged misuse of the garda logo to sell caps, t-shirts and badges.
The news follows revelations that 'garda' merchandise went on sale in Dublin and Limerick in recent days - and promptly sold out yesterday.
The gardai were not amused and promptly issued a statement warning that the use of their Garda logo had not been approved.
"The Garda Commissioner wishes to advise the public that the use of the Garda logo for commercial purposes has not been authorised," a statement said.
"The Commissioner is very concerned at the possible misuse and abuse of such products bearing the Garda crest and has directed an investigation into the apparent misuse of Garda copyright."
Garda spokesman Sgt Jim Molloy said the sale of such items was a brand issue, as they had to protect their Garda logo from being attached to inappropriate items.
"It's a copyright issue, we have to make sure it's the right type of thing, and not jokey or dangerous," he said. There was also the potential problem of items being used for impersonation purposes.
The only items currently authorised for sale with the Garda logo were small toy cars, Sgt Molloy said.
Retailer Donal Cahill who owns the Chequered Flag shop in Terenure, south Dublin, said he had put the badges, caps and other items on sale as he had it on good faith that they were authorised.
The items had been supplied by a reputable company, Irish Decal, who also distributed authorised Garda toy cars, motorbikes and trucks, he said.
Irish Decal Managing Director John Brady said that he was in discussions with gardai about the matter and further questions should go to them.
"We would not do anything that's not right and we believe this will work out alright," he said.
The bulk of the goods had not been distributed for sale yet.