Why were our gardaí so badly caught off-guard?

December 4th, 2023 10:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

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EDITOR – Every person I met this week, from the early morning postman to the girls in the coffee shop, could not hold back their emotions, anger and disgust at the appalling behaviour and thuggery that embarrassed the nation on Thursday 23rd.

One elderly gentleman proposed that we contact our local TDs and let them know what we believe needs to happen to regain trust and to feel safe. I agreed to act upon his suggestion. Another lady stated angrily that ‘this is only the beginning ... where have we come to as a society?’ And her hard-working colleague, a mother of two young children said: ‘... and while all the rhetoric and news is on radio and TV these thugs are in bed after their “night of bravado” while we are here working to support our families, shocked and embarrassed’.

As a parent who returned from a foreign country where I was an immigrant for many years, I can imagine the fear in the minds of all those parents and staff who are connected to this school. That this was the callous act of a deranged individual is clear. Shocking is the speed of what ensued, based on racial prejudice, by predominantly Irish young males releasing their underlying frustrations.

What I and those I spoke to yesterday wish to question is this: Given the history of the troubles in the north of Ireland, that scarred thousands of people for decades, the acute and escalating gang wars that Irish drug lords engage in, the fact that our economy is booming especially our tourism sector, the fact that we have brilliantly-trained armed forces that are so specialised they train military personnel around the globe, how, therefore in God’s name, can our gardaí be caught like lambs at the slaughter and undergo violence and abuse by a relatively small number of thugs?

In modern day Ireland we have very proud, hard working multi-national people who are amongst the best in technology and medicine on the planet. Far too many of our medical doctors and nurses emigrate due to conditions of work in this ‘booming’ economic land of ours. The vacuum they leave behind has been filled for decades by people from foreign shores without whom we would be totally lost and our medicare system would be a disaster.

I have old friends who work in one of Cork’s busiest police stations and I can fully sympathise with the overload of work and lack of numbers necessary to deal with the volume of incidents that is clearly on the increase. How are they and their families feeling now after the Dublin dilemma? Are they well served or disgruntled with the structuring of the police force and their conditions of employment?

Why is it that we have deep structural imperfections at the most basic level of our society? Should not these professions be high priority? These are old, old problems that have not been resolved. These baseline structures are clearly faulty. The problems are crystal clear and are not beyond solutions.

Declan O’Mahony, Old Mallow Road, Cork.


Does writer know origins of Sinn Féin at all? 

EDITOR – May I admit to being both shocked and surprised at Sue Crowe’s letter regarding Sinn Féin lawsuits with her suggestion of a direct attack on democracy.

Her final line encouraged me to write to you. ‘I am not really surprised, though, given the origins of this party.’

Is Sue Crowe not aware that both Fine Gael and Fianna Fåil are rooted in Sinn Fein?

The Labour party took the Sinn Féin, Workers’ Party and Democratic Left route. A former co-leader and co-founder of the Social Democrats was a member of Labour who amalgamated with Democratic Left who amalgamated with Sinn Féin/ The Workers’ Party.

Aontú’s leader is a former Sinn Féin deputy. Even the Progressive Democrats could’ve been traced back to Sinn Féin through Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. The only two parties in Dáil Éireann that I know of who don’t have their roots in Sinn Féin are the Green Party and People Before Profit. So much for ‘given the origins of this party’.

Helen Breathnach, Loch an Chairns, Leim Uí Donnabháin.


Once a war crime, always a war crime 

EDITOR – I call on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the Irish government to report war crimes to the International Court of Justice.

Surely the targeting of innocent civilians by the IRA is a war crime?

It might be 25 years ago, but ‘a war crime is a war crime, is a war crime’.

Michael Hallissey, Mayfield, Bandon.


Terrorism, even executed by a State, is still terrorism 

EDITOR – Terrorism can be defined as the indiscrimination killing of unarmed civilians in pursuit of political objectives. The current slaughter in Gaza is a clear example of State terrorism. Its historical precedents are revealing. Terrorism was initiated in Palestine in the 1930s, when its British overlords unleashed a little reign of terror on the rebellious defenceless Palestinians.

(The behaviour of the soldiery is indicated by the fact that it included a significant number of ex-Black & Tans).

Britain’s Zionist protégés assisted by setting off bombs in crowded Palestinian marketplaces.

The Israeli State has been happy to embrace both faces of terrorism – in the West Bank, lynch mobs of settler-colonists, and in Gaza, carpet bombing.

Terrorism by anyone, anywhere, is a crime that needs to be impartially denounced and relentlessly prosecuted.

S O’Mahony, Gurteennakilla, Ballydehob.

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