Saturday 20 January 2018

Restrictions within force a serious fear for gardai

Could violence like that seen in England last week break out here? Unlikely, say gardai, despite worries that using force could land them in trouble. Jim Cusack reports

Like a considerable number of other Irish families, we spent Monday night talking to a relative (our daughter) in London -- via a video link -- as mayhem broke out across the city.

Our daughter lives and works in what appears to be a quintessentially middle-class south London suburb. To get to work, she walks along a leafy avenue, past the shops, cafes and winebar at the main street then on the overground railway to her office near the Thames in a similar if even prettier suburb. There is, as there is almost everywhere in suburban London, a beautiful Victorian park beside where she lives.

House prices around her flat begin at around £1m. But not so far away, towards Ealing, are not dissimilar houses for around £200,000 -- because they happen to be located close to local authority housing estates. These addresses are not in preferred school catchment areas -- sending children to public authority schools is a middle-class nightmare in many parts of London. That's where the trouble was on Tuesday night.

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