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'If the gardaí were an airline you would shut it down': Former GSOC commissioner slams force

Conor Brady made the comments shortly after resigning from the Commission on the Future of Policing.

Image: RollingNews.ie

IN A WITHERING ASSESSMENT of the force a former commissioner of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) has said that if the gardaí were a private company it would likely be shut down.

Conor Brady, who was head of GSOC from 2005 to 2011, made the comments while speaking on the Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk today.

“If the Garda Síochana were a chain of hotels or an airline you probably would shut it down and start all over again,” he said.

I honestly think that we’re at the stage now where something on the scale of what was done with Patten (Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland) in the North is probably necessary.

“It’s very clear that the problem isn’t just a commissioner,” he added.

The Patten Commission was set up to reform policing in Northern Ireland, it eventually led to the formation of the PSNI.

Brady’s comments come shortly after his resignation from the Commission on the Future of Policing.

The commission was established to examine of all aspects of An Garda Síochána.

Brady said he decided to resign after concluding that the commission “wasn’t going anywhere”.

“It’s a fine commission, it can do a lot of good but I really have no sense of political support or will being there for it,” he said.

He went on to suggest that a lot of gardaí aren’t suited to being in the job and a clear-out is required.

“There are wonderful people in the guards, there are lots and lots of really good people at all levels in the guards, but it is clearly the case that there’s a significant number who are not suited to the job”.

(They) don’t like being in there and they should be given the option of doing something else.


Discussing his former role as head of GSOC Brady repeatedly said that the watchdog is “drastically under-resourced”.

“In so many ways our remit was constrained,” he explained.

We couldn’t investigate the Commissioner, we couldn’t investigate garda practice or procedure, we couldn’t investigate anything to do with security or state security and intelligence.

“There was a whole range of ways in which we were circumvented.”

READ: New Garda Commissioner could come from abroad and be paid more>

READ: Ireland ‘shouldn’t go down US route of splitting security and policing’>

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Ceimin Burke

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