I looked with astonishment today at pictures of gardai laughing and giggling over Tiger Woods at the JP McManus Charity Pro-Am in Adare Manor.
Okay, the delighted cops are only reserves but it certainly does not look good for the image of the police service.
The Garda function at the event, and all events, is the preservation of order, and if the subject is swarmed upon, their function to to take the subject out of danger.
Giggling gleefully about Tiger's presence does not portray the best picture of the force.
To be fair I would recognise that the pro-am is a happy occasion, and most people could could be caught up in the occasion when the world's best-known golfer passes by.
The gardai shown are only part-timers. I'm convinced full members of the force would not have behaved in such a manner.
The reserves are not paid and turn out in blue as volunteers.
Some commentators have described the reserves as 'yellow packs' and in effect that is what they are -- although I accept most don the uniform for the highest motives.
Still, they have not undergone the two-year training programme that full members of the gardai undergo. I believe, they do a two-week programme.
That may be an explanation, but in my book it's no excuse.
PJ Browne is a former Garda detective superintendent