Expecting unarmed Gardaí to confront armed thugs is unreasonable From Irish Independent 30th. May 2019

THERE was as much pride and pomp as decency would allow in 1922, when Commissioner Michael Staines led his new Force though the gates of Dublin Castle, the seat of British power in Ireland.
Only five days after this historic transfer, the man responsible for the creation of that unarmed Civic Guard, Michael Collins, was shot dead.
An Garda Síochána was formed one year later. No matter what level of threat to the State – and there have been several, both subversive and criminal – the tradition of remaining unarmed held firm. It is something that as a society, we set great store by.
But there are plenty who seek to take advantage of the fact rank and file Gardaí do not carry firearms. They must learn, as others have done to their cost in the past, that our State has an iron fist to use when required, behind the velvet glove.
Yesterday’s appeal from Gardaí for 24-hour armed units to be set up in all 28 Garda divisions to deal with the upsurge in armed crime must be taken seriously.
Ruthless drug gangs once only preyed on our biggest cities. Today, their sinister trade is plied in every major town and village in the country, leaving a trail of ruined lives.
Surely rural communities have as much right to protection as urban ones? Scenes such as those in recent days in Drogheda, where the feuding is spiralling towards serious loss of life, have to be reined in.
Gunmen randomly opening fire in the street is not something any town should have to endure.
People prepared to kill for profit must not get to determine the price of a life.
Their careful cultivation of vendettas – which are paid for in other people’s blood – has to be curtailed.
If, as has been argued, crime is born in the gap between the morality of society and that of the individual, closing that gap requires urgent attention.
Increasingly reckless and rapacious gangs grow ever more desperate to increase their riches.
Expecting unarmed Gardaí to confront such thugs with their automatic weapons, and no concern for where their bullets fly, is unreasonable.
Expertly trained armed units must be on call to confront what is a 24-hour threat.
Crime, unfortunately, is a most consistent part of our historic experience; as its face changes, so too must our response.
For feuding gangs, revenge never evens the score. The bloody chain-reaction will go on until there is an equal and opposite show of strength from the State to snuff it out.
We learned this lesson the hard way in Limerick a decade ago. So we know what needs to be done.
To date, some 88 members of the Force have been killed serving on duty.
That number cannot be added to because we have not provided adequate cover or resources to protect the very people we turn to in order to protect ourselves.


  1. patrick joseph mc May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm #

    Colette Browne,s article gives food for thought, I remember Two different Judges stated in open during trials that if a Garda stopped to think , the decision would more than likely be wrong or the garda would be injured or dead. In both occasions the garda was being questioned on his power of arrest of renowned violent thugs that intimidated law abiding citizens.Those of us that served in the 60, saw the change of April 1970 made Gardai no longer had to work all hours for nothing .The force was at least 25 per cent under strength in April 1970. A decade ago public servants were encouraged to leave both temporally and permanently and we are now seeing the results. The same applies to law with legislation coming into effect usually 25 years after it was needed The overlooking of minor offences lead to greater problem. In many cases adult cautions are not sufficient censure for the distress caused. In recent months we see the Gardai making numerous detections for driving under drugs following new equipment a problem that existed since 1980 when the Gardai were convicting such people under 1961 legislation. One of the best articles on the Gardai I read of late was in the Sunday Times . The author was Paul Anthony McDermott a very distinguished legal gentleman .he deals with resources and the choices gardai have to make every day and gives some good advice ,;It is essential gardai do not become law enforcement robots, but are instead permitted to deploy some old fashioned common sense and humanity ,In other words leave the Gardai do their job without trying to please people with different agendas .

Leave a Reply

Designed By