Rape is not a joke
Anyone who has listened to the tape released by the Shell to Sea group apparently showing gardai joking about raping female protesters at the site of the controversial gas pipeline in Co Mayo can only despair.
After a series of damaging controversies and scandals -- Donegal, Abbeylara and the Dean Lyons affair to name but a few -- the Irish public were assured that the Garda had cleaned up its act. We had the Garda Ombudsman, the Garda Inspectorate and a new complaints procedure, all of which were designed to restore battered public confidence in our police force.
And now this. If the Mayo tape is genuine, and no one seems to be suggesting that it isn't, then it is clear that, despite all of the reforms of recent years, there remains within the Garda an unreconstructed hard core who seem to be impervious to changing attitudes.