Garda Síochána and leadership – some of today’s (13th September) letters & Opinions

Sir, – I am more than a little surprised at the suggestion Ireland’s police head should be paid the same as the head of the Metropolitan Police in London: roughly €300,000 a year (“State could offer salary of €300,000 to attract Garda chief”, News, September 12th).

London is vastly larger by population than Ireland, is the capital city of a major global power and has a challenging history as a target of terrorists.

There are other comparisons that perhaps the Government should also consider.

James Comey, the head of the FBI until sacked by Donald Trump, was paid $180,000 (equivalent to about €150,000).

The head of the NYPD makes just over $200,000 (under €170,000).

Why on earth should the head of Ireland’s Garda be paid twice that of the head of the FBI and considerably more than the head of America’s most populous city?

This idea should be quashed immediately.

It’s wrong and unwarranted – particularly while austerity continues to play a role in Irish life. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL McEVOY,

Newton,

Massachusetts.

Sir, – With regard to the Garda Commissioner’s recent announcement a number of media outlets have referred to her “resignation”. The Irish Times also included a letter headed “Garda Commissioner’s resignation”.

In this regard, it is important to set the record straight. She retired; she didn’t resign.

The Garda Commissioner resigning in the circumstances would have had a subtle but significant different meaning to her retiring. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN CULLEN,

Rathfarnham,

Dublin 16.

Sir, – For months our media outlets have been saying that Nóirín O’Sullivan was either “linked to” or had “applied for” a senior post in Europol.

Some went as far as to state that not only had she applied but that her candidacy had been rejected because she did not have sufficient relevant experience.

Now we discover that she never applied for a post in Europol.

What is worse was that the reports caused a headlong stampede to judgment by some members of the Dáil and Seanad.

So far I have searched in vain for any apologies or retractions for this gross misreporting. – Yours, etc,

MAURICE CURTIN,

Cork.

Sir, – I shall miss Nóirín O’Sullivan’s presence in the public life of this State if only for the fact that “she gave as good as she got” when being grilled by self-absorbed politicians.

She was equally and at times more expert at “spin-speak” than her political inquisitors, by verbalising copious words to say nothing, being the master of the articulate yet vague response, knowing the value and timing of positing the half-truth, using the trump card of wishing not to compromise any future or ongoing investigations, and astutely portraying a wounded sense of entitlement on occasion, while always retaining a good sense of composure and humour.

However, none of these “attributes” were part of her job spec in her role as Garda Commissioner and she inevitably had to go in view of failures in this role, unlike those of our politicians who continuously and gratuitously give us “spin-speak”, leaving us citizens with a weakened democracy in consequence. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL GANNON,

Kilkenny.

Sir, – I am dismayed and incensed at what seems to be the general acceptance of the recent retirement of Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.

In much the same way that we don’t have a bad word to say about those recently deceased, it seems we treat those recently “retired” in a similar fashion.

For months there have been calls for her resignation, and now that she has finally deigned to take action and cash in her chips, she has somehow become a victim.

How did that happen?

Can we please get real?

When will we be grown-up enough to say, “You are accountable. Whatever happened before, you are to blame for not addressing this on your watch.” – Yours, etc,

MARK WILSON,

Sixmilebridge,

Co Clare.

Top salaries for top people?

Sir, – Why on earth do we keep hearing that we have to pay huge salaries to attract the “top” people? If the “top” people in this country are anything to go by, fat salaries are not a protection against incompetence and rampant self-interest. As for the constant veneration of the higher echelons of the private sector, how many inquiries have we had now? How many scandals involving charities? How many convictions? – Yours, etc,

JEAN CROSS,

Ballinrobe,

Co Mayo.

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