Two books to have recently hit the book shops and e-stores range from an insider’s view of the political decisions that shaped policing in Ireland from 1968 to the present, and a user-friendly introduction to the law that targets young adults and indeed all age groups.
A Question of Honour – Politics and Policing By John O’Brien
“Policing is fundamentally a political process, even in circumstances where the police service as an institution is relatively independent of government and accountable to the law. The specific actions of ‘the police’ as an institution involves the exercise of power, relates to liberty and freedom, and relies upon authority, all of which inevitably raise political questions” University of Leicester 1998 unpublished. John O’Brien has been researching this topic for over ten years. The narrative covers a period from 1968 to 2019 and discusses key events. John says he was amazed at the degree which Political Decisions influenced the shape of policing in this country. Events including the Arms Crisis 1970, the constructive firing of Commissioners in three different decades, the Regionalisation decision 1995, Smithwick Tribunal 2005 – 2013, risk avoidance by key Ministers, demonstrable naivety in Intelligence matters and much more. Originally planned as a “straightforward” memoir, as it unfolded the political perspective dominated. Ultimately the story has told itself and he feels that it is all the more relevant in this period of centenary projects. Official Ireland has been somewhat tardy in recognising the contribution made to the State by the Garda Síochána and this book addresses this deficit. The author also hopes that it will inspire others to write their stories and that it will stimulate lively and informed debate. About the author: John O’Brien is a Corkonian and is known on the national airwaves as a policing commentator and a regular contributor in the media generally for many years. He is a former Detective Chief Superintendent from An Garda Síochána’s International Liaison and Protection Section and whose career coincided with the advent of the ‘Troubles’. He served in seventeen different centres in the country and undertook significant assignments internationally. He identifies strongly with the underdog. John was involved with Garda welfare and representative organisations for many years. Despite the “slings and arrows” encountered, John says that he enjoyed his career immensely and feels very proud of An Garda Two books to have recently hit the book shops and e-stores range from an insider’s view of the political decisions that shaped policing in Ireland from 1968 to the present, and a user-friendly introduction to the law that targets young adults and indeed all age groups. John is currently a member of the Central Committee of the 6,000 strong Garda Síochána Retired Members’ Association (GSRMA). A Question of Honour will be available online and from bookstores nationwide.
What Does Law Mean, Mumu? By Paulyn Marrinan Quinn
One of Ireland’s leading lawyers, best-known for her career as an Ombudsman, Paulyn Marrinan Quinn has published her first work of young adult fiction, best described as a user-friendly introduction to the law for all ages. Paulyn Marrinan, a Senior Counsel, was Ireland’s first Insurance Ombudsman and, subsequently, was the founding Ombudsman for the Defence Forces. The barrister has now turned her attention to writing and publishing a book about the law, which targets the ‘young adult’ age-group. Marrinan said that, while targeted at young people, What Does Law Mean, Mumu? could serve as a user-friendly introduction to the law for all ages. “It is not a comprehensive legal text-book – it’s written as a story, with the intention of making a range of legal concepts and processes interesting for people of all ages, stirring curiosity and encouraging readers to delve further into the topics,” she said. About the author: Paulyn Marrinan is best-known for advancing the development of Alternative Dispute Resolution processes through her work as an ombudsman and mediator, and in academia. Born in Belfast, she was educated in London and at Trinity College Dublin. Paulyn is a member of the Bar in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the UK. As the first Insurance Ombudsman of the Republic of Ireland, she was a founding Member of the British and Irish Ombudsman Association in 1994. She was subsequently appointed by the President of Ireland as founding Ombudsman for the Defence Forces. During her time as Ombudsman for the Defence Forces, Paulyn worked with the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance, assisting in capacity-building for States in transition to democracy that were addressing issues such as civilian oversight of military administrative matters and human rights protections for armed forces personnel. Paulyn served for six years on the Board Audit Committee and the Executive Board of Trócaire and has also served on the Boards of Attic Press – the Irish feminist publisher – and the Irish Writers’ Centre. Priced at €10, ‘What Does Law Mean, Mumu?’ is available in bookshops across Ireland through Argosy Book Distributors; and as a paperback, e-Book, and audiobook through porteomarketing.com and Amazon; Kenny’s in Galway and the legal and general bookshop at the Four Courts also stock the book.
Chairman of Editorial Board GSRMA & Clare Branch