Not content with squeezing the people of the south financially until the pips squeaked, the Fine Gael/Labour coalition have now revealed themselves as people who run a state where the guardians of the law and their boss are about as competent as Homer Simpson after a night in a brewery. Where to start?
1. The gardaí were running a system where drivers who got into trouble on the penalty points system could, if they were well enough connected, get someone probably higher up in the gardaí to wipe their slate clean. If they weren’t well enough connected, tough titty. Hardly equality under the law/cherishing all the children of the nation equally, wouldn’t you say?
2. The discussions, telephone calls and emails of the office of the Garda Ombudsman were found to have been hacked. So the communication of people who might have been keeping the gardaí in line is illegally penetrated by…well, who can say? I suppose someone with an interest in the doings of the Garda Ombudsman’s office. Go figger.
3. The gardaí were running a system whereby the telephone discussions – thousands of them – coming into and going out of many garda stations were taped. That’d include confidential discussions between someone being charged and their solicitor. This is against the law and has been going on for a long time, so potentially thousands of cases where people were found guilty may now at best be questionable.
4. The Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan wrote to the Department of Justice pointing out this appalling practice and asking specifically that the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, be informed. That was over two weeks ago. Astonishingly, Mr Shatter didn’t get the letter until Monday. You believe that? No, don’t answer. Your reply could be bugged.
5. The Fianna Fail leader, Micheál Martin, is very upset about all this and is calling for heads to roll. The letter sent by Callinan shows that this bugging by garda stations was something that stretches back into the 1990s. And who was in government in the 1990s? Why our old comrades in arms, the Soldiers of Destiny themselves, Fianna Fail. And who was in the Cabinet for three years during the 1990s? Why sure who else would it be only the bould Micheál himself. But of course neither Micheál nor his party, fabled for their moral integrity, would have known anything about any bugging. Honest, Your Honour. Which is why all this comes as such an ethical shock to Micheál.
I wonder now will unionists believe northern nationalists and republicans, when they say a united Ireland would not, repeat not, involve the north being swallowed whole by the south.