Monday, August 14, 2006

Not since the earliest days of the State has the role of the Irish Army (sic) been under such intense scrutiny . And not since the war years has it had such a forceful political master as Patrick Mark Cooney .
From 'The Phoenix' magazine , 3 February 1984 .

The State Army have been handed the excuse to assist in the maintenance of 'law and order' in the State by the incompetence of the Gardai , by the excesses of armed gangs within the State and by the paramilitary overflow from the North .

The present State Minister for Defence welcomes this extension of the State Army's role and would even like them be involved in "...curing the national (sic) malaise." Such developments coincide with very serious economic difficulties , unprecedented levels of unemployment and a burgeoning of the population . It all adds up to a trend towards authoritarian government , a trend that has become all too familiar in other parts of the world .

Is this what lies ahead for Paddy Cooney's Army ?
(Next -'MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS' : from 1987.)


There is a crisis among the Gardai in Kerry and it is much deeper than one of morale . For years the Kerry Detective force has enjoyed a free hand in dealing with Section 30 cases in this heavily Republican county .
But the free rein given in these cases has had the inevitably corrupting effect . Now individual Gardai are being fingered for conduct that most of them had taken for normal : the heat is now on . Only the fall-guys remain to be named .......
From 'The Phoenix' magazine , February 1985 .

Another conflict at the highest level inside the Gardai was followed by the transfer of the State's two most senior officers early last year .

Following the crash of the State car of the then State Minister for Justice , Sean Doherty , in Ballyduff 18 months ago , statements from the State Administration in Leinster House , the 'Government Information Service' and the Garda Press Office all stated that the driver , Detective Donal Dunne , had been driven straight to the Mount Brandon Hotel where Sean Doherty was staying .

At Dunne's trial the following June , prosecuting officer Garda Michael O' Donovan flatly contradicted this account and said he had driven the driver of the State car , Detective Donal Dunne , to Tralee Garda Station . At the time of the accident , Garda Michael O' Donovan had given his account of the incident to Superintendent John Riordan : Chief Superintendent John Doyle was also aware at the time that Garda Michael O' Donovan was at the scene of the crash .

Within 12 months of the trial , Superintendents John Doyle and John Riordan had been transferred to Dublin and Mallow (Cork) respectively .

Next - a case involving a schoolteacher became known as 'Kerry's Shercock' * (* see 'Chaos In The Gardai' , here.) .......

From 'NEW HIBERNIA' magazine , March 1987 .

The workers dish out the dinner , but the soup does'nt seem to be too popular tonight , and not everyone wants dinner either . A woman who has just arrived in drunk and oblivious to all and sundry dances around the floor on her own . A quiet and refined-looking gent sits in the corner on his own eating his dinner and stares on in amazement . The woman who is dancing comes over to Simon Project Leader Gerry Fulham who is eating his dinner with the rest of the residents . She wants to talk to him privately - he is like a father figure to them all .

One man does'nt want anything but potatoes - lots of them . He is a northerner and looks at one of the workers in amazement ; he is not too sure if he recognises her . In the end he takes one mouthful of potato , leaves the rest and staggers off to have a look at the television in an adjoining room . By 7.30pm he is fast asleep . The man who could take on ten Gerry Fulhams staggers off to bed saying that if anybody snores in his room tonight , he will throw them out the window . The rooms are cold , but to heat them would cost far too much - and the Simon Community has'nt got the money . A sufficient number of blankets make up for it and if anybody needs more all they have to do is ask .

Some of the rooms are single , others have two or three or sometimes four beds . Again a stale stench emerges from most of the rooms but , for the residents , it is a million times better than sleeping rough , something most of them would have experienced at some stage or other.......