Monday 19 February 2018

Smithwick raises questions about our institutions

Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Garda Commisioner Martin Callinan speaking to media on the findings of the Smithwick Tribunal at Farmleigh Phoenix Park
Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Garda Commisioner Martin Callinan speaking to media on the findings of the Smithwick Tribunal at Farmleigh Phoenix Park

JUDGE Peter Smithwick's report into the murder of two senior RUC policemen at the Border in 1989 deserves serious study by everyone in authority on this island. It reminds us in the starkest possible way that the victims of what we euphemistically call 'The Troubles' are to be found in every community and many walks of life.

It also raises questions about the functioning of our institutions in the Republic. The report is critical of An Garda Siochana and comes as a blow to its leadership.

But we must assess the events of March 1989 in the context of the extraordinary life-and-death pressures on all our institutions of State across three decades. We cannot forget that 12 gardai died in the conflict confronting murderous terrorists.

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