“Garda reserve no substitute for proper resourcing of community policing”

Before I retire to Fermanagh for the rest of the weekend, here’s a snippet sent in by one of our sharp eyed readers. It’s a statement from Deputy Aenghus Ó Snodaigh on the inadequacy of the proposed new Garda Reserve:

“This proposal would not be fair on communities who deserve policing of the highest standard, from a fully trained and professional service. Neither would it be fair on the proposed reserve volunteers themselves who would form part of a parallel police force incapable of ensuring comparable human rights standards in their activities.

Given the party’s description of CRJ as a viable alternative to the PSNI, this reads as an (unintended) criticism of the party’s thus far uncontradicted policy stance on policing north of the border.

  • Garibaldy

    Not the usual joined-up thinking on such issues we’ve come to expect. And also a sign of the rush to respectability down below.

  • Pete Baker

    Two separate political jurisdictions.. with two separate political audiences.. producing two separate political parties.. announcing two separate party policies..

  • Rory

    What do you mean, Garibaldy? Is that you find youself unaccountably in full accord with the simple good sense of Aongus Ó Snodaigh’s remarks and find it too embarrassing to say so? I am sure it simply cannot be that you are just a begrudger

  • Garibaldy


    I mean that usually PSF are usually too well-coordinated to say one thing that can be used against them in another sphere. That’s what I meant by joined-up thinking. It was a reference to their professionalism.

    And I agree that the Guards need democratised and reformed. I’ve no problem with saying that, any more than I’m embarrassed to say I’m opposed to the war in Lebanon because theocrats of various descriptions also oppose it. On the bit about the rush to respectability, that’s a comment on the shift in rhetoric and economic policy that has been happening as they chase the votes of the middle and lower middle classes in the south, personified by the promotion of Mary Lou.

  • Rory

    Yes, Garibaldy, but do you or do you not agree with what Ó Snodaigh said? Never mind the psychoanalysis of why that you consider must have been his (obviously devious, in your mind) motives for saying it.

    If you are both anti-theocratic and against the invasion of Iraq on principle how can expression of that stance be a cause of your embarrassment caused by theocrats? Are you embarrassed to be a socialist before a Tory? Should I be embarrassed to be a Gunner when I meet a Yids fan? I wouldn’t last long in Tottenham if I did, I tell you.

  • Mick Fealty

    I’ll be interested to see if this thread is still on or near the subject of the original post by the morning. Whatever the motive, there are two profoundly conflicting messages coming from the same organisation here. That is uncommonly poor from a usually highly professional party.

    Treating audiences as completely segmented may have made sense in the pre-internet days (happy birthday btw, sweet sixteen fifteen!!), but it is highly unwise now those audiences are connected.

  • aquifer

    Maybee Snoddy is onto something. Having ex-paramilitaries stop people is one thing, but having them stop cars could be fine. Fits their risk profile and authoritarian tendencies, traffic enforcement is mostly fixed penalties with little discretion, and any discrimination could be easily tracked.

    The general SF hypocricy is a bit like a tapeworm. Let it get so big it starts to hang down. When it touches the ground then you get a chance to step on it and stop them in their tracks.

  • Pete Baker

    “That’s uncommonly poor from a usually highly professional party.”

    Or common, but just not highlighted enough, from an otherwise, presented as, professional party.. just a thought..

  • Garibaldy


    You asked me if I found it embarassing to say I agreed with what Ó Snodaigh said. I said that I didn’t find it embarassing to agree. I have no problem expressing my opinions on certain topics without embarassment if they are shared by people with whom I disagree. That was the reason I raised the theocrats, whose presence on the march in London on Saturday didn’t stop me going.

    There’s nothing devious in what was being said here, I just thought it reflected wider developments within PSF strategy that are often discussed on this and other blogs. Hence the reason I brought it up. I thought it was relevant to this because there are odd flashes of the tension that this is causing. E.g. the resignation of founding member John Kelly and some others in the north, and the foundation of that group Eirigi (can’t get fadas for it) in Dublin

  • Nic

    What I picked up on was the word “civilian”.
    Do Gardai really refer to non-Gardai as “civilians”? I don’t think I’ve heard it before. I thought it was guards and “the general public” or “the people” “the citizenry” or so…

    “Civilian” is a term used in the military, no?
    Which speaks volumes about how o’Snodaigh and his puppet masters see policing, wouldn’t you say?

  • Rory

    But, Garibaldy, saying that “I didn’t find it embarassing to agree” still doesn’t answer the question of whether or not you do agree with OSnodaigh’s statement.

    Well, do you, or do you not? Or, which parts of it do you agree or disagree with and why, please?

  • Occasional Commentator

    They are two separate jurisdictions, with two different police forces, and two different governments in charge of them. That seems like a pretty obvious reason to have different policies towards them.

    SF could be seen as entirely consistent across the island if their policy is that the Gardai should be the police service of the whole island, and that they will organise their own policing in the meantime.

    That’s not to defend or attack the policy, just to show that shouting “hypocrisy” is simplistic.

  • Garibaldy


    I thought that it was clear from my two previous responses that I agreed with what he said. Both parts of Ireland require a professional and well-trained police force that has a culture of respect for human rights. The more people that agree with this the better.

  • fionn

    hmmm … police service?

    …police force?

    any chance of a cross-border police service? might sort out the recruitment figures