Members of the Garda Siochana have a right to be upset at how some sections of the media treated the recent death of Sergeant Tania Corcoran and her son. The reporting of Sgt. Corcoran’s death while giving birth was, as Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy said, “disgusting, insensitive and hurtful.”
There is, however, a stark contrast between this case and how the Gardai and in particular the powerful Garda Representative Association (GRA) react to Garda wrongdoing and corruption.
It is reported in today’s Irish Examiner that the GRA held a meeting to discuss the media coverage of Sgt. Corcoran’s death. It was agreed at the meeting to send a directive to every garda station in the country, effectively calling for a boycott of the Sunday Independent, the Irish Independent and the Mail on Sunday newspapers.
In recent years we have witnessed wholesale corruption in the force, ranging from bullying and incompetence to widespread perjury, indiscipline, insubordination, planting of evidence and even the framing of innocent citizens for murder.
Very few members of the force have been brought to justice for their crimes and the GRA has played a significant role in bringing about this state of affairs.
Journalist, Jim Cusack, in an excellent article on Garda corruption, tells us that the GRA is “Now perceived by Government as the main block to imposing order in the Garda Siochana.”
As I have said, the treatment of Sgt. Corcoran by sections of the media was wrong but it is difficult to take seriously the outrage expressed by the Garda Representative Association while the organisation remains in denial about the wrongdoing of its own members.