4 2 mins 14 yrs

There is a debate in the Republic of Ireland at the moment as to whether the Irish Police Force (The Gardai) should routinely carry guns.

Debate has raged within the force about arming all officers since the shooting last September of Paul Sherlock, an unarmed traffic garda, during the morning rush hour in Dublin’s North Strand. The 34-year-old was shot in the stomach from close range with a shotgun by one of the occupants of a stolen car he was pursuing at the time. John Healy, GRA deputy general secretary, believes the attack of an unarmed officer marked a watershed for policing in the state. “It is with great regret that we now have to consider the routine arming of uniformed gardai, but that is the reality of modern Ireland,” he said.

I agree with him – it is important that police officers can defend themselves against armed thugs and unfortunately there are plenty of them in the Republic. It is a sign of the lawless times that this change id needed but we must not risk the lives of those who seek to enforce the law by denying them the necessary protection – in this case, guns.

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4 thoughts on “ARMING THE POLICE?

  1. As far as I know, there was always a majority of Gardai against carrying weapons; tho that might have changed with all these recent killings.

    The Garda remember has always been an unarmed force, even during the Civil War when it was first formed!

  2. John Healy, GRA deputy general secretary, believes the attack of an unarmed officer marked a watershed for policing in the state. “It is with great regret that we now have to consider the routine arming of uniformed gardai, but that is the reality of modern Ireland,”

    Why shouldn’t this apply for the Irish people in general? That the function of the Gardai (I assume) is to uphold the law, discourage criminality and apprehend law-breakers cannot be the difference because the police are civilians and all Irish people can claim to be responsible for such things.

  3. It may be a necessary development, but I can understand the hesitancy to change the longstanding practice. It was kinda nice to have a society with an unarmed police force, but societies change. I have a friend who was a gard in Dublin describing car chases with drug dealers and such when he and his partner were unarmed and I couldn’t imagine it.

    I think the majority would prefer a less lenient criminal justice system as I imagine that the ease at which criminals are released and the short sentences (when imposed at all) must be frustrating.

  4. Mahons,

    We are forever being told not to be so judgemental, Unfortunately the only ones to take much notice of that edict are the judges!…of course there is always the burden of the Human Rights Act to contend with.

    Personally, I find EU style ‘socialism’ to be frustrating in toto…

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