Garda coming to a PSNI station near you

Officers of the Garda Síochána will be serving in Northern Ireland within weeks in non-operational posts and PSNI Officers will be serving in the Republic with an aim to bestow full police powers and operational roles on both next year. Considering both the Garda Síochána and PSNI are currently engaged in recruitment drives with the former recently having an advert in the Belfast Telegraph stating “serve your community and make a difference.” is it not time to address the Irish language requirement for the Garda Síochána? Is it not after all a mockery that you will presumably be able to serve in the Republic as a PSNI Officer on secondment without the Irish language requirement yet be unable to apply directly to the Garda Síochána?

Corrected just for Tochais Síoraí – Slán go fóill.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Keep up with the Posse, Aughavey. The language requirement for the Gardaí has been addressed and is being dropped to encourage recruitment from ethnic minorites (tho’ I believe they’ll have to do a basic language course in training college which I presume will be applicable to PSNI transferees).

    I’m a cranky bollix tonight – it’s Garda Síochána not Gardai Siochana (fadas – ctrl alt and required vowel). As your Gaeilge improves so hopefully will police standards in the ROI with the introduction of some northern blood.

  • tra g

    Should the Garda Síochána not be obliged to learn Ulster Scots when serving in the North.

    I hear lord laird is available, and he doesn’t mind taking a taxi down to Dublin to take the classes..

  • tra g

    That i’ll be £260, thanks.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Taxi???? Surely he deserves a private plane after spending a lifetime serving his native language?

  • maca

    “Is it not after all a mockery …”

    Pretending that the issue hasn’t already been addressed … no I do not believe it would be a mockery at all. But it would be a mockery to impose the requirement on those only being seconded to the Gardaí.

  • Alan2

    Of course it would be. The argument was that Irish language requirement was to facilitate Irish speakers. What would a non-Irish speaker do when he could not converse in the first language of the country?

    I mean a Met Officer on secondment to Russia would presumably be expected to be able to converse in Russian, right? But the requirements have changed as of the recruitment drive started on 29th Sep.

  • maca

    It wouldn’t be. We’re talking about secondment here, to a country where the majourity language is English. It’s only natural that you’d be flexible on issues such as this.

    “a Met Officer on secondment to Russia would presumably be expected to be able to converse in Russian”
    Right, he’d have to speak Russian. But would he have to speak Bashkir, Belarusian or any of the other lesser used languages?

  • United Irelander

    Hopefully this will bring us one step closer to an all-Ireland police force.

  • stan

    “But would he have to speak Bashkir, Belarusian or any of the other lesser used languages?”

    Surely it would depend if he was serving in a region of the country where the particular language was spoken.

  • T.Ruth

    Will the secondments be on a fifty-fifty basis and if there are not enough non-Catholics among the Republican applicants will the places remain unfilled?
    On a positive note anything that is a genuine attempt to improve policing in the Republic should be encouraged. Sir Hugh should set an example by applying as with his outstanding experience in tackling crime especially bank robberies he clearly could bring so much experience and expertise to the G.S. It also would be good for his personal development as he might learn to emulate the more homely and less arrogant manners of senior GS personnel

  • Alan

    Maybe those boycotting the Policing Board will have second thoughts now that police officers have become common currency north and south.

    There’s bound to be a smuggling opportunity somewhere along the line!

    *Yes, Constable – down the hedge and across the bridge. Look out for a man in a hat called Noel Conroy*

  • Dick Doggins

    Before the gardi actually start serving in any capacity in the North, maybe they as a force should have the same legislation in the south which the PSNI has to operate under!! Maybe the gardi can take the necessary steps to become an accountable police service in the same the way as the psni is trying to do, instead of acting like a political tool accountable and answerable to no-one but themselves.

  • Dick Doggins

    Before the gardi actually start serving in any capacity in the North, maybe they as a force should have the same legislation in the south which the PSNI has to operate under!! Maybe the gardi can take the necessary steps to become an accountable police service in the same the way as the psni is trying to do, instead of acting like a political tool accountable and answerable to no-one but themselves.

  • crat

    Unionist politicians have made it clear just how bad at policing the PSNI are. According to the UUP & DUP they are failed, politicised police force that causes riots. Why would do we risk them being allowed to serve elsewhere? I’d suggest other countries that have the PSNI on secondment review the situation in light of Unionism exposing of their failings.

  • martin

    Im in full agreement with Dick Doggens–having them in the northern force would be a step backwards not forwards-and that would be for everyone.

    Look at their track record there are numerous Mac Brearty,Brian Rossetter and Wheelock cases–Patton must be fully implemented north and south before there can be proper policing on this island.

    Also the reason the south is absoulutely crime infested-with thugs robbing,assaulting,murdering and mutilating people of all ages with impunity is that the Gardai simply do not do their jobs and more often than not don’t even bother answering distress calls and the times that they do arrive at the scene of a criminal occurance–which is becomming more and more seldom–it is often hours and even days after they could have been of any help.

  • George

    you have valid points about the lack of accountability in Irish policing but you negate those points by exaggerating beyond all reason.

    Ireland has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, including the murder rate. Around 50 murders a year in a population of over 4 million is hardly an infestation. Unless you believe other countries with similar murder rates, Norway, Denmark and Japan, have an infestation.

    By the way, Northern Ireland has the lowest crime rate in the “developed world”, according to UN figures, but unfortunately is high on the violent crime.

  • martin

    I respect your opinion

    but im standing by my comment that the South is now crime infested–and over run with thugs and drug gangs and that elderly people live in terror in their homes and on their local streets—I dont think I m exaggerating one bit–Ive seen a Friday night in Thurles.among other places.

    I believe that you come from the north Connaght area–which I would agree with you is relatively peaceful and crime free but there are much more violent and crime riddEn areas in the south than yours.

  • George

    Actually, I’m from Dun Laogahaire originally, which had a huge heroin problem when I was growing up.

    Neighbour on one side robbed six times, once battered unconscious with a hammer, neighbour on the other three times. Mother mugged twice.

    Joy riding the sport of choice, collect the empty cider flagans on a Saturday morning as a boy for the few bob deposit and every house in the area that could afford it with an alarm.

    That may sound dangerous but I had a very safe childhood and the general crime in that area is nothing like that today.

    I have have now been assigned to Cork for my sins where I see the same thing every Friday night as you see in Thurles and what I saw in Dun Laoghaire as a drunken teenager.

    I used to have to take the long way home on a Friday from Dun Laoghaire town to be sure to avoid the drunken gang diggings and sometimes took the wrong route and paid the price with my smokes, money and a few head shots but having said all that I still find Ireland an incredibly safe place to be.

    Sometimes I think it’s just that today everyone can be a victim of crime and violence as the middle classes are producing more and more violent dysfunctinals while 20 years ago it was only those in the direct vicinity of or living in poverty who experienced this.

    Having said all that, the crime rate in Ireland is very low. For example, I work with a South African who can’t believe how safe Ireland is. He is so happy he brought his children here as in South Africa children disappear every day. He can’t believe the Friday night madness though. I suppose it’s all relative.

    As I said, Garda accountability, I am 100% behind you.

  • maca

    “Maybe the gardi[sic] can take the necessary steps to become an accountable police service …”

    I guess you don’t keep up to date on such issues … Garda Síochána Bill 2004? Ombudsman Commission? Garda Inspectorate? I’d call those steps to becoming an accountable police service.

  • martin

    Yes Maca,
    all that and they even gave big pensions to the Mac Brearty stitch up crew,transferred some other lesser boys in blue,renovated the holding cell where Terence Wheelock allegedly took his own life–according to them.and are at this very moment still impeding the investigation into Mr wheelocks death.

    At the moment the south does not have a police force-what they have is a hard core of gloified ,motorised traffic wardens–the Gardai’s only success as a result of the much publicised, operation Anvil is to have fines imposed on 12,000 motorists for motor tax disks which are out of date.

  • stu

    Will those on secondment have a difference in pay? As I understand it, salary in the GS is only 2/3 that of the PSNI, so it would be unfair to have Garda serving up here on less salary than their PSNI counterparts, and unfair for those over the border taking a paycut.

    T.Ruth – I agree with you on Sir Hugh’s arrogance; he came to a politics meeting when I was at school, and all he would talk about was how bad traffic crime was here and how we should be tackling it more than anything else. When it was suggested that perhaps because violent crime was more visible, more widely reported and annoyed more people that someone who was in an obviously politicised role would recognise and deal with this. He’s not politicised apparently; which fails to explain why he was at a politics society meeting.

    George- bang on with Ireland being safe. Easily the most crime-free developed nation.

  • martin


    compare it to what it was 10 years ago though.

    What has changed it so much. Ok the cities always had their hard element but the crime cancer has now spread into most of the countryside-the only conclusion I can draw is that there is something in the water that has produced a new generation of teenage turbo-scum.

    And also, I dont know if Im the only one to notice this but why do all the young members of the Gardai seem to be 15 year old shrimps,who look like they would cry if you shouted at them

  • GavBelfast

    I’m glad that (the Republic of) Ireland is a relatively safe country – it’s reassuring that a place on your own doorstep and that you go to fairly often is.

    I’m not sure, though, what the mileage is in comparing it to, say, South Africa, a hugely different country.

    More realistically, is it really that safe compared to other developed countries with small populations? I’m thinking of the likes of the Scandinavian countries.

    I do find it hard to imagine that Dublin, Cork and Limerick are as free of violent crime when compared to, say, Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim?

    (I have no stats on this – just gut thinking/perception. Cheers.)

  • martin

    If Ireland is one of the safest places in the world as is–Imagine what a crime free civilisation if the Gardai actually did anything–.

  • martin

    If Ireland is one of the safest places in the world as is–Imagine what a crime free civilisation Ireland would be if the Gardai actually did anything–.

  • ch in dallas

    George, I’ve read about this “Friday night madness” and heard author T. Dalrymple speak of it. I’m perplexed. We have our own crime problem in the U.S. (I don’t want to get into a comparative tit for tat) however, I don’t think we have this. Is it tolerated as the blowing off of steam, or as Dalrymle asserts, the hedonistic breakdown of western culture, if only on Fri. nites? I genuinly want to learn.

  • martin

    About this relatively low crime rate–those statistics would be based on reported crime wouldnt they–and the Irish have an awful habit of suddenly minding their own buisness and seeing nothing –at the only time in their lives when they would have a justifiable reason for sticking their nose in–i.e reporting seeing a crime in progress .

    I have also seen the results of polls carried out and some 60% of the public had no confidence in the Gardai–this poll was carried out by Michael Noonan in Limerick city and county before the last LOCALS AND Euros–I would say that the other cities in the south would have got a similar result–Limerick and Dublin would have much more violent crime per head of population though.

    I remember also an interview given by a leading counsellor for Rape Crisis who claimed that only 1 in 5 rapes are reported and that only 1 in 10 of the reported rapes leads to a prosecution.

    So I recon myself the south ain’t the crime free paradise that we would like to think it is.

  • stu


    I think the difference has to do with the rise of the spide/hood/steek/chav/scumbag culture, something that has only really developed over the past decade, and which seems to have no real European equivalent, although that is starting to change. I remember an article in the Independent over the summer talking about the rise of binge-drinking in Italy.

  • George

    Ch in Dallas,
    the Friday night madness is also on Saturday and used to be on Thursday too until Michael McDowell moved back the pub opening hours.

    It’s the culture of drinking until you fall down or are put down by some other drunk looking for a fight. It’s unisex these days as the women put back the booze too and travel in packs looking for trouble.

    Getting wiped out of your head is considered a right of passage for most teenagers in Ireland and the parents get horrified when the time comes for their youngster to be initiated.

    As I have left my teen years behind, I am of no interest to them so roam the streets in relative safety.

    From September 2005 on Breaking News which contradicts everything you say about Garda satisfaction, reporting crimes and being a victim of crime in Ireland:

    “The biggest survey of public attitudes towards gardaí has found that more than three-quarters of people are satisfied with the force.

    Only one in 10 of respondents said they had been the victim of one crime while 83% said they had reported it to the gardaí.

    The Garda Public Attitude Survey was carried out by Millward Brown IMS who interviewed 10,000 people across 25 garda divisions during 2005.

    A garda spokesman said: “The survey was carried out as part of our ongoing commitment to provide a quality policing service and to fulfil objectives in our Policing Plan 2005.”

    “This survey is the largest and most comprehensive undertaken on behalf of An Garda Siochana and the methodology used included quota sampling and in-home face-to-face interviewing.”

    The key findings of the survey, which is available on the website, were:

    :: 83% of respondents indicated that they were either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with gardaí in their community.

    :: 11.7% of respondents were victims of crime during 2004.

    :: 75% of these victim had experienced just one incident while 5% experienced four or more.

    :: Burglary was the most common crime at 27%.

    :: 83% of crime victims said they had reported it to gardaí

    :: 25% of crime victims received a letter from the Gardaí acknowledging the report and indicating the identity of the Garda member dealing with the crime.

    :: 68% of recipients of letters indicated that the letter was either ‘very helpful’ or ‘helpful’.

    :: 49% of crime victims indicated that they were either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with the being kept informed of progress in the crime investigation.”

    Ireland is statistically as safe as Denmark or Norway as I posted earlier. They are both in Scandinavia and have similar populations. Having said that, I fear a teenager would get his head kicked in a lot quicker in Limerick than Bergen.

    Just my own experience. When I lived in Berlin, I saw no late-night drink-related violence like in Ireland except once and that ended in a murder.

    In Ireland there are a lot of punches thrown but abroad if there’s trouble, it’s really serious.

  • martin

    ” 25% of crime victims received a letter from the Gardaí acknowledging the report and indicating the identity of the Garda member dealing with the crime.”

    That would mean that 75% heard nothing more from the Gardai

    “:: 68% of recipients of letters indicated that the letter was either ‘very helpful’ or ‘helpful’.”

    Now remember thats 68% of the 25 % who heard anything further from the Gardai–just for convienience Ill round it up to 70%

    So 70% of 25% would be say about 17%

    That means folks that 17% out of the 83% or if you like about 1 in every 5 of people who reported crimes to Gardai received letters that were “Helpful” or “indeed very helpful” well well I wont split hairs.

    IT MEANS THAT 20 percent received helpful letters I know Im being generous

    “:: 49% of crime victims indicated that they were either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with the being kept informed of progress in the crime investigation”

    Now folks that would indicate that 51% that old majority figure–were not satisfied with being kept informed of the progress of the crime investigation.

    BUT THATS NOT IT yet—Remember the 17% who had such low confidence in the Gardai that they didnt even report it to them yes

    51% ADD 17%

    THATS RIGHT FOLKS ALMOST A WHOPPING 70% WERE NOT satisfied with being kept informed with the progress of the Gardai investigation—-If there ever even was one

  • George

    83% are satisfied or very satisfied Martin,
    what do you say to that? Are they lying?

  • martin


    51% who reported crimes were not satisfied with the Gardai resonse even leaving out the 17% who had so little faith in the Gardais ability that they didn’t even bother to call them.

    I remember one night at about 11pm one night about 3 months ago you and I had a discussion on slugger –very close to the subject matter being discussed here and we both came to the conclusion that the boys in blue do harrass people who openly critisise them and that the general public in the south have an attitude of keeping their heads down and not wanting to come to their attention.

    Now in view of that discussion and also the very notable fact that these interviews were held face to face in the home of the person being questioned–I think it is quite plausable that they were lying to protect themselves from the rath of the boys in blue.

  • martin


    I would be very interested in statistics regarding the percentages of crimes reported that resulted in convictions though

    And even better would be
    of the convictions –what percentage of them were confession based

  • ch in dallas

    George, Thanks for the explanation. Drinking here is a right of passage here as well, but if you’re on the steet, you’re going to jail for the night, and if driving, to prison. Stu mentioned the “scumbag” culture. The young who tatoo and pierce their face, I presume. Starting here as well. People who are opting out of society and starting a tribe of their own. They stay at the bottom too. Who’se gonna hire them like that? Drugs are the scourge here.

  • martin

    “Drugs are the scourge here”

    here too

  • Setanta

    For what it is worth the Gardai are a really good police force. The way they work is from the community upwards. The Gardai know every villain on their patch. Even in the sprawl of Dublin. An example Rowanstown a total hole, yet the Gardai know who does what. It appears they have a scale on crime. If you shoot/assault a Garda you will be caught. If you beat a few old people up you will be caught. If you smoke a joint you will not be caught.
    I am no friend of the Gardai but i will say they have come a long way in the last 10 years.
    Some of the special branch guys do an unbelievable job.

  • GavBelfast

    George, Stu, etc, I’ve read the statistics on violent crime, and I think what you both said about ‘chav’ behaviour and the chances of getting your head kicked in (or knifed?) is bound to be higher in Irish cities than in, say, Scandinavian ones.

    Is it perhaps that this thuggish behaviour is a bit of a disease of the English speaking world? Are there many millies on the continent or those who walk with their shoulders?

    It can’t just be just a drink thing – goodness, I can remember being in many’s a resort in the 1990s which appeared to have been taken over by Scandinavians, a good many of then drunk and noisy and boisterous the whole week or fortnight long, no doubt lapping-up the (to them) dirt cheap drink. But a singular lack of violence and abusiveness.

    I would also be interested to know if the experience of the elederly is better abroad. Again, and it may only be a perception, but I really cannoy imagine that old people feel as vulnerable on the continent as we hear they are here.

    And don’t get me started on disrespect for the envioronment ….

  • ch in dallas

    Is it perhaps that this thuggish behaviour is a bit of a disease of the English speaking world? Are there many millies on the continent or those who walk with their shoulders?

    gavbelfast, This has always fascinated me. Are those of us in the Anglosphere more violent than the Swedes or Chinese or Zulus? I would say of course we are. History shows that the Western World in general and the English-Speaking Peoples in particular can be deadly, esp when coming in contact with indigenous peoples.

    Now, can you draw a line between the Battle of Marathon and Dublin lads trading drunken blows? Not quite. The problem is that, as you know better

    that I, different peoples live in the British Isles. East Anglians, who peopled New England aren’t, but I think Scots, who peopled some of Ulster and the American South are. That’s why the Southern U.S. and Texas are more violent that Mass., or Minnesota. We have the death penalty. You’ll have no better friend or no worse enemy. And our culture comes from the English Scotish border, and learned and relearned from 2 thousand years of pillage, cattle rustling, clan wars, ect.

    A most interesting read is “Albion’s Seed” By Fischer, Oxford Press.

    Then again, I could have my head up my arse! 🙂

  • martin

    George or setanta–whichever your calling yourself at the moment–yep I remember that too.

    The Gardai are a pathetic excuse for a police service

  • George

    it does seem that the English-speaking parts of the world are more inclined to binge drink and fight. Your guess is as good as mine as to why.

    The UN league of countries where you are most likely to be assaulted (sex offences and murders are discounted) include only English-speaking nations in the top five.

    Scotland is top due to its “booze and blades” culture apparently, followed by England and Wales. Since January there have been 13 murders, 145 attempted murders and 1,100 serious assaults involving knives in the west of Scotland alone. Ireland is Nirvana compared to that.

    But not as Nirvanaesque as Northern Ireland which is the safest developed country where you are least likely to be assaulted. Does that mean the people of NI aren’t as like the Scots as they think? 🙂

    “>Tim Worstall has a blog on the Angl-Saxon/Celtic propensity for drink and fighting.

    Firstly, convictions in any democracy are based mainly on confession. If you say nothing, you’re generally going to get off.

    If you ever trot off to the Four Courts you’ll find it’s the Gardai pulling their hair out as another crimbo walks free.

    I agree that there is a problem about Garda unaccountability but I don’t believe for one moment that those people who were surveyed and the 83% who said they were satisfied or very satisfied with Garda performance lied because they feared the wrath of the police if they didn’t say they were satisfied.

    Most people like the Gardai and respect them as evidenced by the results of the latest survey, not to mention how they are treated by the public and that they don’t even carry guns.

    There is a difference between unaccountability and out of control. I don’t believe the Irish police are out of control. I suppose that’s where we differ.

    I looked up detection rates and the latest national average is 36%. It was 33% in 1990. There were also 99,000 indictible offences recorded in 1993 and 103,000 in 2003 with 500,000 more people living here. So, according to the statistics, things are better than they were, which is my own experience. For others, things are worse.

    75% of murders are detected while just 17% of burglaries so this would lend credence to Setanta’s view that there is a sliding scale.

  • George

    Tim Worstall link

    Setanta is his own man. I have enough trouble keeping up with myself without splitting my personality. You’ll be telling me I’m a Garda stooge next.

  • martin

    no I wouldn’t call you a Gardai stooge but they may have slipped something into your tea–very possible since only in the last few months past one of their number was caught with enough cocaine in a Galway night club with enough cocaine on his person to get everyone in Eyre square on a friday night high.

  • martin

    Posted by you George on the June thread–SHOULD PATTEN HEAD SOUTH.

    George,what did they do to you ????

    One of the main reasons McDowell got the justice job was that he was considered the great hope to take on the Gardai, who absolutely despise him but I fear they shall ensure he falls on his sword long before he gets the chance to have a go.

    the general public attitude towards the Gardai in the Irish Republic is to not annoy them lest they decide to make your life a misery.

    The scary thing, as proven in Donegal but known by anyone who has ever had a run in with them, is they can and will. If you are not with us you are against us sort of thing.

    Remember the Heavy Gang, for example. What was done about that? Nothing.

    Posted by: George at June 8, 2005 10:45 PM


  • martin

    George on the same thread as above you later wrote this

    my view for what it’s worth after a very long day is that Irish people, north and south, Catholic and Protestant, are an incredibly conservative bunch and the idea of questioning the authority within your community or even standing out from it is very much frowned upon.

    Dressing unusually as a teenager was enough for diggings from the local lads on the way home (up north believing or not believing in transubstantiation seems to suffice) and having an opinion was enough for a Garda to change from warning to charging.

    The Gardai are the Fianna Fail of European Police forces. They don’t have an ideology or a rule book, they merely position themselves where they believe the people want them to be or where they think they want them to be, be that softly softly or zero tolerance.

    Of course this is unacceptable as it is not for them to decide on what’s the best method for ensuring “justice” is done but that seems to be the mentality.

    The government say they’re getting tough on crime and hey presto a couple of robbers get it in the neck in Lusk – the government says there’s a terrorist threat and 5% of the country’s houses are searched by cops and army (after the Eksund).

    Limerick crime gangs are targetted by government and next thing a guy gets four years for making a gesture in a courtroom (ok a gesture to kill somebody but that happens all the time) and another guy gets done for going into a pub saying he’s going to kill somebody who happens to get shot 20 minutes later.

    The judiciary delivers for the Gardai too. The whole lot will have to be tackled.

    Down south, the time is fast approaching where people demand the state actually delivers a vision of what we want from our sovereignty rather than just a nice paypacket while up north something is also afoot.

    Optimist that I am, I’ll say Ireland’s Romantics aren’t dead and gone, they just haven’t been born or got into power yet.

    Posted by: George at June 8, 2005 11:36 PM


    George has Ireland radically changed so much since last June.

  • George

    there is nothing in that post from me that says the Gardai don’t have the support of the Irish people or that the Irish people live in fear of them as you seem to think.

    In fact, my first par says most people believe the Gardai are above reproach.

    I basically said they are unaccountable and if you give the cops grief they’ll charge you and as they are unaccountable and most Irish people believe they are above reproach, you’ll lose. Hardly a shock that is it?

    The problem, then as now, is accountabilty. I don’t know how I can make myself any clearer to you.

    I’ll try one more time:

    The Garda have the support of the absolute majority of the Irish people but are unaccountable.

    Ireland as a very low crime rate and things aren’t as bad as you imply.

    On cops taking the law into their own hands, it happens everywhere, the objective is to minimise it or take action against it.

    I can tell you how German cops do business if you want. Unlike the Gardai, they don’t have to have ID numbers on their uniforms for a start so they can hit you and you can’t identify them.

    You are much more likely to suffer violence from them. Talk to a Vietnamese cigarette seller if you don’t believe me.

  • George

    In a nutshell, on that thread, I, like you, was trying to show how unaccountable the Gardai are and how this leads to situations like in Donegal.

    On this thread I am trying to show how they have the support of the majority. Two different things.

    You can have an unaccountable police force which has high public support and which has a good detection rate in a country with a low crime rate.

  • martin

    the general public attitude towards the Gardai in the Irish Republic is to not annoy them lest they decide to make your life a misery.

    The scary thing, as proven in Donegal but known by anyone who has ever had a run in with them, is they can and will. If you are not with us you are against us sort of thing.

    Remember the Heavy Gang, for example. What was done about that? Nothing.

    Posted by: George at June 8, 2005 10:45 PM

    yes but you keep quoting the 83% level of acceptance—why in view of what you wrote above–do you not think that those people interviewed–in their own homes I might add—might just have said that in order to keep their heads down and avoid the attention of the Gardai

  • George

    because I live in Ireland and see and hear the attitudes towards the Gardai every day, which is I wrote most people consider Gardai beyond reproach. Why don’t you quote that again?

    Like in most countries, your average punter supports the cops and feels things are stacked against them when it comes to criminals.

    If, however, as in Donegal, you cross some line, then you are in trouble because they are not accountable enough. The thing is most people never cross that line so don’t know.

    The line for most is something like a cop tells them to do something like move along because if you don’t he’ll charge under some public order offence.

    I don’t mean he’ll stalk you for months to such a degree that you live in fear and lie with independent public surveys. That is simply beyond belief for me.

    10,000 people were interviewed for that survey and 83% were satisfied. How many of those do you honestly feel were victims of intimidation?

  • martin

    well 83% of 10,000 would be 8,300 wouldnt it–and the 1,700 who dared to speak out were probably close relatives of the Gardai and felt that nothing would be done to them—

    you talk about the mood that you get from the people regarding the Gardai–any time Ive heard them mentioned it is always about how useless and gawmy they are

  • George

    do you honestly believe that everyone surveyed who said they were satisfied was lying out of fear and that the 17% who weren’t were relatives of police officers because that’s what you seem to be implying?

    If so, that’s completely ridiculous.

  • maca

    Binge drinking & fighting is not limited to English speaking countries. On the contrary many countries have the same problem.
    However, i think that one difference is the the pub culture is far stronger in Ireland and the UK than in many other countries where people tend to drink at home a lot more.

  • martin


    I ve had the pleasure of attending Spanish,Russian and Polish functions in the south and their behavior is much better than what you would get from us Irish–they did not seem to be on a mission to drink til they vommit so that they would have more stomach room to drink some more.

    They did drink but they were more interested in dancing and conversing–I didnt see one of them on any of the 3 occasions falling around the place,or comming up annoying people with their pathetic stories —and not once did I have some twat ask me whad da fcuk arrrya loookien at–made a very pleasant change from Irish club scene

  • maca

    Funnily enough I’ve attended Irish functions where there were only Irish people and they didn’t seem to be “on a mission to drink til they vommit so that they would have more stomach room to drink some more. They did drink but they were more interested in dancing and conversing … etc etc”. So what’s your point, that we’re the only ones with this problem? Rubbish.

  • martin

    Maca, maybe you should extend your socalising beyond the bingo hall.

  • ch in dallas

    Is this a private fight, or can anyone join in!? Here in Tx, saloon fights are stuff of legend, but laws have been passed that the bartender is legally responsible for what you do under the influence if you were drunk when he served you. Maybe it is the pubs or stores that sell booze to young people who can’t carry it that are a big problem. If they got into a gun fight the bar wouldn’t keep selling them more bullets would they?

  • GavBelfast

    Would the Gardai have tolerated the sort of situation we saw in the Galliagh area in the early hours of yesterday morning, where paramedics were apparently lured into the area to treat someone who then refused the treatment and aided and abetted a mob in attacking the ambulance crew, the creew having to lock themselves into their vehicles?

    I realise it could have been any number of places – though Galliagh has plenty of ‘form’ – but what sort of people are they, and what’s to be done about it? Parental and community responsibility are bound to have a role to play, but are these thugs simply and irretrievably out of control?

  • George

    I really think superpubs and the anonymous drinking involved therein has a lot to do with it.

    This whole policy of limiting licences so that a publican mafia has been created is a disaster.

    We have created monster pubs which promote some kind of mob alcohol frenzy and where you can lose total control and no one notices or cares.

    In defence of Michael McDowell, he tried to change this with his cafe idea but he was holed below the water-line.

    And all these medical experts who weighed in saying we don’t need more outlets selling alcohol should be ashamed of themselves.

    They know what alcohol abuse does but aren’t so wise on how to stop it.

  • ch in dallas

    GavBelfast, You referred to thuggish behavior up-thread. I think it is more than alcohol. It seems as if a part of society is opting out, with their spiked hair, tatooed face, and a ring through the nose and nipple connected by a chain, f*ck everybody attitude. Football hooligans come to mind. If society tolerates EVERYTHING, it stands for NOTHING.

  • George

    ch in dallas,
    football hooligans dress in top designer clothes and wouldn’t be seen dead dressed up as you seem to think they would.

    Also, the tatooed face types aren’t the ones kicking heads, if anything it’s because they stand out from the rest that their heads get kicked.

    No real fighter would were a nipple chain as it would be ripped from your body before a punch was thrown.

  • George

    wear on were.

  • ch in dallas

    George, Suppose that makes sense with the fighters!

    I do agree with you 100% about these mega-pubs. It seems that I also had an idealized “Quiet Man” view of these pubs where Pat and Mike kept bar and knew yer mutter. I’ve learned quite a bit on this thread.

    It’s said here that a liberal is a former conservative who’se been arrested, and a conservative is a former liberal who’se been mugged.

    You’re right that most citizens want law and order, and don’t want to see how it’s done, until the cops rough up their kid. I think that you agree with me that accountability is vital, and actually increases people’s confidence in the Force, because they are both protected BY and FROM the police at the same time.

  • maca

    “maybe you should extend your socalising beyond the bingo hall”

    Gosh, I just never thought of that.

    “And all these medical experts who weighed in saying we don’t need more outlets selling alcohol should be ashamed of themselves.”

    Why do you think that? I think the natural reaction to any proposals such as the Café-bar idea is to reject it.

  • GavBelfast

    Perhaps the Garda Siochana secondments could start their stints in Galliagh, a nice easy intro from them?


  • J McConnell


    You really need to start spending more time in Ireland, or maybe stop hanging out with the older folk.

    The most striking phenomena one notices among young people in Ireland is their utter inability to socialize without getting drunk, or engage in any social activity that does not seem to involve drinking alcohol to excess somewhere. Put any group of young or youngish people together and withing five minutes the conversation will turn to how drunk they got last night / weekend, or how drunk they plan to get tonight / next week end.

    And go to any bar in the US where the Irish hang out and you will see exactly the same phenomena, people manically drinking themselves into a stupor.

  • GavBelfast

    J McConnell, what you say is true about Ireland – but much of the other island, too. It’s a problem common to both islands.

    At least the Republic’s government does appear to finally have got away from that stereo-typical and unhelpful trait of ministers invariably being pictured greeting visiting dignatries with a pint of stout or half-un in hand, which only ever tended to confirm the importance and omnipresence of drink in Irish society.

  • George

    because I think the Cafe-Bar proposal is essential to break the binge drink culture that currently pervades (and always has pervaded) Ireland and to bring us more in line with our European counterparts.

    These super pubs have to be tackled and this is the best way to do it. I don’t understand how medical experts believe they know best how to stop people binge drinking so it was irresponsible of them to weigh in on the side of the publicans on this.

  • Nick Jay

    Cafe culture – ha ha ha

    Fast forward to any provincial dump in the UK or the Republic. The old bill are run off their feet trying to keep up with the fights and running battles down the street with lagered up tossers.

    The plan on these nights is to get a lashed as humanly possible, have a ruck and nail a doris. Even better if you get to do both!
    Only the Ozzies and the Kiwis have such a compulsion to drink until you fall down. Any attempt to introduce a cafe culture is doomed to fail. Even one of the UK’s top judges called the plans to open for 24 hours ‘as close to lunacy as you can get’. (Or something to those words).

    I have lived in Spain for the last 5 years and it is only the Brits/Irish that get a routinely tanked up continously and start the trouble. It is a good job the peelers over here do not take kindly to chav scum trying to steal their hats or spiting at them and give them a damn good hiding. Ahh, the sound of baton on Kappa trakies- sounds good!

    It appears that it is just hard wired into our culture that you can not have a sociable drink – otherwise you will get busted for drink driving. So when you drink, you go hell for leather.

  • maca

    “You really need to start spending more time in Ireland, or maybe stop hanging out with the older folk.”

    And perhaps you need to spend more time abroad and you will see that this problem is not confined to Ireland. Talk to your brother, i’m sure he’s seen a few things in Finland.

    “The most striking phenomena one notices among young people in Ireland…”

    I’m not denying it, just pointing out that the same problems exist elsewhere.

    “because I think the Cafe-Bar proposal is essential to break the binge drink culture”

    But how do you think these proposals would break the binge drink culture? That’s what I am unsure of.

  • George

    forgetting that limiting pub licences costs the Irish consumer up to 2 billiion a year according to the competition authority, I feel Ireland has to move away from super pubs so it’s the best alternative I can think of.

    35% of Dublin drinkers are served by just 12% of the pubs.

    With the high margin on alcohol they can get away with, they are loathe to provide anything else but alcohol so we have a beer trough scenario.

    We can move to a situation where the pubs go to where the punters are rather than what we have now which is mobs going to where the pubs are.

    Also, the restricted licences just mean the pubs expand and expand, it doesn’t mean the supply of alcohol is restricted.

    There are less licences now than 40 years ago but per capita alcohol consumption has doubled. How do the medical experts explain that one?

    You generally don’t see people completely wallopped in small bars as the staff can keep a much closer eye on everything.

    Plus, you can go out for a drink with like-minded people without being totally hammered appearing as the norm.

    Not forgetting that the lovely traditional pubs are dying out.

    Competition Authority Report:

  • ch in dallas

    George, I agree with your comments on mega-pubs. Cut down the number of people, and mob mentality might not set in. Also Pat and Mike keeping bar could show someone the street if need be. Also,why are’t the mega-pubs responsible in a court of law for over serving youth? Has legislation not gotten there yet?

  • J McConnell


    So far this year I’ve spent time in Ireland, UK, United States, France and Italy (and none of these were holidays). I have lived in three of these countries and have family in the other two. I think this puts me in a very good position to compare and contrast the various cultures.

    I’ll agree that the UK also has a fairly corrosive drinking culture, but in my experience it is not as aggressive and all-pervasive as it is in Ireland. France, Italy and the US just dont have this culture, period. And as for Scandinavian binge drinking, it is just that, binge drinking. A blow out every now and then rather than getting wasted several times a week and every weekend which seem to be the norm in Ireland.

    As for the cafe-bar proposal I think it is a great idea. The simple fact is that it is almost impossible to find anywhere in Dublin open after 7.p.m that is not a pub, restaurant, or hotel. Almost all the cafes in Dublin are closed by 7.p.m. If you dont like pubs, or like being around people who are trying to drink themselves senseless, your options are almost nil in Dublin if you just want to go out in the evening. I’d prefer to have at least a few US style coffee houses in Dublin but French or Italian style cafe-bars would be a reasonable substitute.

  • PSNI/GARDA Officer

    I am an officer of……On sunday…. at approximtely 03:10hrs I was tasked to a report of a disturbance at… . Myself … proceeded into the area as, on arrival I observed that a crew had entered the area before me and I believed that i had to follow to prevent injury to them. I entered and drew…( a personal protection item ) gave a warning which was not heeded, and deployed …( a personal protection item ) then.arrested …. a male, who attacked myself and. On this the crowd became hostile. …. and myself drew batons, at that time I believed that if the crowd were able to get me they would have killed me.

    As a result of the injuries i received I have been off work for the past six weeks……..

    still want to work for the Garda/Police

  • martin

    An investigation is being carried out into allegations that Gardai Harrassed witnesses to perjure themselves in court–In county Cork–these allegations are being investigated by other Gardai–if anything comes of this it will mean that the Gardai have lost credability in counties-Cork-Donegal,Tipperary,Clare,Dublin and Kerry- Im sure there are many more.

  • slug9897

    I want wrong-doers to FEAR the police.