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This Commissioner won't repair Garda reputation


'The Commissioner still has plenty of questions to answer.'

'The Commissioner still has plenty of questions to answer.'

'The Commissioner still has plenty of questions to answer.'

A less than compelling or commanding performance by Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan has failed to lift the siege on her position and the force.

Indeed, the Garda chief probably dug herself an even deeper hole after admitting she doesn't really know how almost one million breath tests were falsified.

The Government is adopting an 'in for a shilling, in for a pound' mentality, continuing to back the crisis-ridden Commissioner.

On their heads be it.

Fianna Fáil figures are insisting they don't have confidence in the Garda chief as the party weighs up whether to table its own motion of no confidence.

The position of Fianna Fáil effectively means that a majority of the Dáil does not have confidence in the Garda Commissioner.

A sad state of affairs.

But what does it say about confidence in the force across the country if this view is representative of the public at large?

Unfortunately, it is fair to conclude the majority of the public concur with their elected representatives.

Over the course of four hours yesterday, the Commissioner was grilled over a variety of controversies.

The Commissioner has also admitted gardaí may have acted dishonestly in their handling of motoring offences.

With her career hanging in the balance, Ms O'Sullivan admitted that members of the force are suspected of deliberately entering false data into the Garda computer system over a period of a decade.

"It may well be the case that members, individual members, deliberately put figures into the system that were not correct figures," she said.

The Commissioner still has plenty of questions to answer.

Regardless of the explanations coming down the track, the damage to the force's reputation is done.

This Commissioner is not going to repair that.

Stigma attached to social housing a sad reflection

In an era when many people would give their right arm to have a house of their own, it is sad to hear there is still a stigma attached to living in council houses.

New research says people living in social housing sometimes feel pressure to adopt 'posh' accents or lie about their housing situation.

The study was conducted by a team from the UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice. They found the stigma of social housing as the so-called "tenure of last resort" is an on-going problem. The team based its research on case studies of tenants and property managers at three Dublin social housing estates, including the regenerated complexes at Ballymun and Fatima Mansions and the mixed social housing complex at Clarion Quay in Dublin's Docklands.

The findings do not reflect badly on the residents of these estates, rather the perceptions of society as a whole.

People do not come up with these views in the absence of personal experience of discrimination of people from their area. If the housing crisis is to be solved, then there will need to be greater levels of social housing. And to hell with the snobs who don't respect those from such backgrounds.

Irish Independent