Sunday 17 December 2017

A civilian commissioner could cut through political issues and restore faith in gardai

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Martina Devlin

Martina Devlin

The politicisation of the heavily-bruised long arm of the law – also an arm of the State – can no longer continue. It must be detached from political oversight to achieve the much-cited (but little acted upon) aim of restoring public confidence in the gardai.

Since the inception of the Irish State, policing has been essentially controlled by the government, through the political appointment of the Garda Commissioner.

Dedicated gardai and capable managers of them are what best serves the public interest. Political intrusion has helped to undermine the independence of the gardai.

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