Longford Leader columnist, Mattie Fox
We are subject yet again, to revelations about An Garda Síochána that, in another time, would be met with outrage, consternation, and would see the Government of the day taking action immediately.
Nobody would be affected by concern about the rights or otherwise of anyone in An Garda Síochána , let alone be constricted by any fear of legal action.
If any wrongdoing was proven to be the case, immediate action would be taken, and be seen to be taken. The first rule of justice is that it not only be done, but be seen to be done.
We are now in the clear knowledge of the behaviour of some members of the Gardaí, in respect of driving offences, which suddenly have been escalated from a figure of one million false actions, to include another 500,000.
Are we living in the real world at all?
All of which begs the question:
On what basis are people given binding contracts which supersede any responsibility to behave in a way that is in line with normal, common sense, and legally safe, thinking?
Or is the Government bereft of any semblance of protocol or common sense, or recognition of wrong behaviour anymore?
Is it the case that anything goes?
The people in this republic should be able to walk the streets, or drive cars, or go about their daily business safe in the knowledge that at least we have some party or collective of politicians ensuring that responsibility is upheld in all public bodies.
It is what they are supposed to be doing, after all. They get well paid to ensure nothing wrong is allowed, and have hundreds of civil servants available to assist them in their responsibilities.
Instead we have the head people in the Gardaí behaving abominably, without sanction.
When I recently heard that the Government was unable to remove anyone from the Garda higher authorities, the thought struck me very forcibly that this meant, in essence, that the rule of law in its plainest meaning, is now beyond that law, as we have understood it to be prosecuted or enforced.
This is a calamitous situation.
This week we had numerous people saying openly that the Garda Commissioner - who announced her decision to step down from her role on Sunday - had lied to the Public Accounts Committee, repeated at least once on television, without any contradiction.
This being said without contradiction about the Garda Commissioner??
Worse still, we had John Halligan saying that he retains confidence in the Commissioner until he sees proof otherwise.
A fire is not a fire until it’s burning out of control, it seems.
This is an example of the quality of people who run this country.
The insurance companies suffered raids by the European representatives recently, and insurance costs immediately dropped, this week by 14% - a huge drop.
The Government couldn't do anything at all about insurance costs until the Europeans stepped in.
We’ve long heard about lame duck Governments.
It appears we have one right here in Ireland.
Finian McGrath completely reversed his view of the latest vaccine and said that he was “completely wrong”. How on earth could any Minister be “completely wrong” and change his mind just because he was told to by his boss - if he was a thinking person in the first place?
We are burdened with some scarily unqualified representatives.
Did you enjoy this column? Read more from Mattie here.