On balance, I think public confidence remains high in our Garda Síochána




Well, it was quite the news story last week…as, in an event unprecedented in the history of this State, three members of our police force – a Garda Superintendent, a Garda Detective and a Garda Inspector – were arrested and questioned under suspicion of being involved in the commission of criminal activity. 

  At the time of writing, all had been released. However, it is understood that the three are suspended from duty and that a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions. Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan quite rightly said that he couldn’t comment on individual cases, adding that he does “expect a thorough and timely investigation,” into what most of us will consider to be a shocking turn of events. And indeed if anything improper/corrupt is suspected in this or any other case, of course there must be an investigation.

  Now, I won’t be commenting at all on what is a case involving what is strictly alleged wrong-doing; people are entitled to a presumption of innocence until and unless there is a contrary determination.

  In a general sense, and in no way referring to any specific a case, I would make the point that I, and all right-thinking civilians and Gardaí, believe that our police force must be ‘clean’. I do believe that public confidence remains high in our hard-working Garda Síochána. I hope it does, anyway; especially in our local Gardai, who do a great job and who deserve our regard and respect. I also believe that we, as civilians, are lucky to have a moral, ethical, good and decent police force.

  However, if any members of An Garda Síochána, at whatever rank,  ever deviate from their professional standards without justification, then they must be rooted out and they must face disciplinary proceedings. It’s that straightforward.

  No matter what job we do, and no matter what career/life path we choose, the fact is, there will always be a set of overriding principles and codes of conduct. In most incidences, in the workplace, we call this the employee handbook! You know, the carefully curated diktat of procedures, policies and cultures set down by our oppressors, sorry supervisors, that none of us have ever bothered to read…but that all of us have to adhere to. And, based on the profile or indeed, the responsibility of our positions, we, as employees, all have a duty to ensure that, within reason, we not only follow a robust and consistent approach towards our workplace guidelines, but, if we are in a public-facing and public-protecting role, and indeed, in one which could potentially render us to be extremely vulnerable, once we’ve given a commitment, once we’ve taken an oath, we must never, under any circumstances, violate or breach those regulations. So, it is for this specific reason that any taint of impropriety, alleged or otherwise, must be rigorously and meticulously investigated.

  I would, as always, urge readers to show support for our local Gardaí, because they are the people who not only protect us, they also protect our freedoms. They are the ones tasked with enforcing our laws and upholding our Constitution and our nation’s flag; meaning without these brave men and women, anarchy would likely reign supreme across our country.

  I’ll finish by saying that while I’d imagine, at the moment, that morale within the force must surely be mixed, our Roscommon Gardaí should hold their heads up high, and in the execution of their duties, wear their uniforms with pride and know that, as they do, the good people of this fine county stand firmly behind them.


Madonna: The blonde that’s never bland!


I’m not a fan of Eurovision, and, even though I like him (he’s a nice guy, and I did work with him quite a bit on Open House during my RTE days) but neither am I a fan of Marty Whelan’s irritating commentaries.

  However, I am a fan of everyone’s favourite granny, Madonna, the woman whom, in last weekend’s Eurovision performance, unfortunately sounded more like the rusty hinge on hubby’s shed door than a credible recording artiste.

  And, despite the fact she was pitch-poor, and would, it must be said, probably struggle to carry a tune in a bucket, I do admire the nearly 61-year-old rosary bead-draped, corset-clad aul wan, because she never ceases to court controversy or push boundaries – while all the while caring about nobody’s opinions but her own! Respect!

  Long may the Material Girl reign supreme…even if she did kinda humiliate herself with last Saturday’s eye patch-wearin’ performance. BTW, what is it with those hands Madge? I mean they looked older than Elton John’s face!


Baby you can drive my car…just don’t eat in it!

I was highly amused by last week’s announcement by Thames Valley Police (UK) who reported they stopped a van driver, who was ‘arrested for an unconnected matter’ in south Buckinghamshire,  fining and issuing him with penalty points on his licence because his van was such a rubbish tip, cops said it was “dangerous” to drive.

  Now, while some readers may feel this is a bit over the top, given the images released on Twitter showing how the vehicle’s footwell was practically blocked due to what appeared to be fast food bags and containers, I’d say there was due cause for concern, especially as the detritus choking the pedals posed a potential safety hazard, obstructing the van’s braking function.

  I’m someone who does not allow eating or drinking in my car. I admit that I tend to get very upset, (hubby exaggerates and says I go ballistic), if someone leaves crumbs, crisp bags or coffee cups anywhere in my car.

  This means that if the one person I allow (who is also the one person insured, other than me) to drive my car finds themselves in an emergency situation whereby, if they don’t immediately have food they are in danger of dying from malnutrition, and then decides to stop for a nausea-inducing egg salad roll, crisps, a crumbly flapjack and a large flat white, and then has the temerity to exit my vehicle without first removing all evidence, (including aromas) they’ve even breathed in it, let alone devoured an entire fast food meal, then that unfortunate offender knows that when I get hold of them, they’ll find themselves travelling on the highway to hell. And breathe…