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How Corrupt can one Institution Be?


The furore that is erupting around the Justice Dept/Gardai following the publication of the summary of a report made by present Garda Commissioner Conroy in 2000 to the then Justice minister. The revelation that in 2000 Conroy appeared to know, or at least have an inkling, that there was serious misbehaviour going on in the Garda Forces.
This is a serious blow to the credibility of both our police forces and our whole government. As far as McDowell is concerned he is unlikely to be resigning soon, however as is always the way with the stubborn politician events may overtake him. Joe Costello was correct in the Dail recently when he said we had entered resignation territory. There is likely to be a sustained and, in my view, justified campaign for the scalp of ministers who at the time allowed the ongoing victimisation of the McBrearty's and by extension the Barron family.
A politician knows that there is nothing worse than the drip drip of bad news. It has a way of building momentum and doubling the controversy by virtue of its sustained momentum. As McDowell introduced the Garda Bill 2005 with its raft of new Amendments this week, i believe, in agreement with Drapier that he was trying to preempt further drip drip by having already taken remedial action. Only that the action is not really remedial. The foremost of people involved with policing, Senator Maurice Hayes, was never consulted by the Minister. Neither was Howlin involved as he should be, since he was deeply involved with this issue.
The whole thing stinks of a stitch up. McDowell and O'Donoghue knew in 2000 that there were suspicion s at the very least hanging over the heads of the Donegal forces. They were aware of attempts to finger the McBrearty's wrongly. Yet no tribunal was forthcoming until 2002 and further remedial action (in the form of institutional reform) not here until now.
Many of you are familiar with my unhappiness at some of the Bill's provisions, i don't believe they go far enough to curb the free hand this state has granted the gardai since the founding of the state and latterly in the fight against the IRA. Today's report is more in the inevitable drip of bad news for the justice department.
If however Bertie is moved to remove McDowell, it could precipitate the end of the current coalition arrangement although perhaps not an election. What he must replace McDowell with is a genuine person of vision, belief and a minister who presides in a governmnet intent on reform and remedying the rot in our state. I don't know many on the FF backbenches who fit that bill. There is little option for Bertie in this one.

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