Law enforcement, mangled bodies and gombeenism

Even though I am a veteran observer of Irish incompetence and stupidity there are still times when I am absolutely astonished by the sheer ignorance of how we conduct our affairs and in particular how we deal with events that involve life and death situations.

Traffic Blues is the name of a new RTE programme that records the new Garda Traffic Corps in action. A number of people called into Liveline on Monday to comment on the most recent edition of this police programme.

The first incident concerned a motorist who was breaking the law by driving with a provisional licence without an accompanying qualified driver. She also had five young children in the back seat who were not wearing seat belts; three of these children were so young that they should have been secured in booster seats.

After some bizarre behaviour by the driver, which included getting down on her knees on the road to beg forgiveness from the garda, viewers were solemnly informed by a programme voiceover that the Garda was about to make a very serious point.

“It’s an on the spot fine, it’s an €80 fine and two penalty points for having children in the back of the car with no seat belts. So off you go there, thank you.”

We then witnessed a so called officer of the law allow this potential death car, with five children clearly at risk; drive off with an illegal driver in charge.

Unfortunately, this extremely dangerous and stupid decision by the Garda is not unusual in a country where law enforcement, at all levels, is a national joke.

The bizarre reaction of Joe Duffy further confirmed that as a nation we are light years away from understanding the basic connection between breaking traffic laws and the regular sight of dead and mangled bodies all over our roads. When a caller suggested that perhaps the errant motorist should not have been allowed to drive away Joe responded:

“But the thing that struck me was that the Gardai are very civil compared to the UK where every English policeman seems to have a tattoo for a start and every English policeman or woman seems to be have a combination of arrogance and ignorance when they’re dealing with the public as they flash their tattooed shoulders or arms. I just think that Gardai come across very well but you think they’re very soft.”

He later repeated this blanket condemnation of an entire police force that, in my opinion, is one of the most courteous and professional in the world.

“My point is the UK police are extraordinarily rough and uncouth with their tattoos and their mace and whatever else they spray on you. Maybe it’s a completely different environment but compared to our Gardai, our Gardai are civil guardians of the peace.”

This is a straight forward case of pathological denial. Joe Duffy is simply incapable of understanding that road traffic laws are there to protect lives, he’s incapable of making the connection between mangled and dead bodies scattered all over the road and the non enforcement of such laws and most of all he’s completely incapable of accepting for a moment the possibility that our police force has more in common with the Keystone Cops than a modern, professional law enforcement agency. Instead, Duffy reverts to the age old gombeenism of attacking the British.

While researching for this post I came across the following definition of denial:

“A mechanism of the immature mind, because it conflicts with the ability to learn from and cope with reality.”

Tragically, this definition applies to the majority of Irish citizens and is one of the principal reasons why our country is a complete failure as a state.

Copy to:
Joe Duffy

9 thoughts on “Law enforcement, mangled bodies and gombeenism”

  1. or what about the lorry that was 5 tonnes overweight and they said, drive on there now… with a fine later

  2. “Few of us can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that the State has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied.” Arthur Miller

  3. Yes, read that article Haymoon. I have noticed though that such articles invariably fail to reach the obvious conclusion that Ireland is an intrinsically corrupt state.

  4. What do you expect from the clowns in rte and the rest of the civil service. No surprise for me to see their incompetence. They ignore the mcbreartys etc as a “rogue element”. And the morons,sorry the “intelligent electorate” continue to vote for them. The no-blame culture pervades like a superbug in a public toilet(sorry. I meant hospital….we dont have public toilets although one can understand the similarity)

  5. Its a mindset, and it will cause terrible problems until educating the public succeeds. This is best done by education PLUS severe traffic enforcement. I spent 45 years as a Police Officer in a city overseas where there were 12,000,000 people (yes, twelve million, Ireland…) a year driving through our town, PLUS the 350,00 who lived there. I have seen a lot of traffic. A few years ago, near where I live now in ROI, a pointy-head was driving his tractor pulling a trailer carrying two more bales of silage than built for. It bounced off the towing hook, carreered across the road, digging a great grove and ended up against a wall. Fortunately no one was coming the other way. Freinds and relatives were quickly summoned, the evidence was towed away and the Police didn’t have to get involved. Next day, County Council fixed the road. How neighbourly… So I wrote to the Minister of the Environment asking why trailers didn’t need a secondary means of attachment (usually called safety chains) He (Dempsey) replied that it was not needed, but that the operator should make sure the trailer was secure, like pointy-head had done. Within weeks, a circus trailer came loose from the towing vehicle and killed two women who were minding their own business. Nobody raised the safety chain issue. Dempsey didn’t go running over, offering to introduce a law… They just sat there on their FF arses and did nothing. And they will continue to do nothing. We have no junior driver training; we have no Insurance Company participation by way of offering inducement premiums to trained young drivers. What we do have is mammys letting their kids stand up, head through the sun-roof; complete indifference to seat belts or any other perceived attempt at authority over the motorist. No one observes STOP signs. They pass you, with three or four other vehicles, on a hill, what double line???. No one would dream of driving behind another car for more that fifty yards – is their manhood so fragile, their machismo so delicate, that they can’t tolerate that indignity? I once stopped at a Stop sign, signalling for a left turn. The car behind me came round on my right side and turned left right in front of me, without stopping, of course, why not?. The authorities can tell you how many people they prosecuted for speeding (radar guns) and no seat belt (camera shots) – but can they tell you how many people were prosecuted for passing Stop signs; red lights (especially the temporary ones at roadworks, where no right thinking driver even hesitates) doing handbrake turns; all the other traffic offences which together show a lamentable and dangerous disregard for the law which is supposed to protect the rest of us??? Let’s hear some figures on these kind of offences vis-a-vis the number of drivers (and we’ll include the multi-year-non-passed L drivers in it as well) But we have to also remember two things -it’s an Irish solution to an Irish problem; and they’re all voters, bless ’em… Oh, and even after 45yrs in law enforcement – what’s tattoos got to do with any of this? Oh, and that’s why we don’t call them POLICE, isn’t it – Civil Guards is the label attached to the fuzz in Spain, Italy, and other Catholic countries where there is ‘no corruption, is there?’ (like the late great General Franco whose Guarda Civil is still trying to live down the violence and corruption and murder they were involved in) But at least they aren’t called ‘Bobbies’ or even Police, and so the Good Ole Patriotic requirement has been fulfilled, though who on earth dressed them in BLUE I’ll never know. BUT, and we have to hang our hats on this – The Garda must be given a chance to prove themselves in an environment where Authority (read FF) has given them little responsibility (a file is being prepared for the DPP, aren’t they allowed to make decisions…) just in case they arrested somebody’s cousin or a priest or some party hack, or good heavens, a judge. We ought to support the Garda, they will find their feet and could become a Garda (Police Force) to be proud of, being decent Irishmen and women.

  6. I’m with all the commentors, but who is actually capable of enforcement of the rules of the road in Ireland?

    I am lucky enough to have learned to drive in another jurisdiction and to have driven there for 15 years, reinforcing what I have learned.

    Since returning to my home country a decade ago I have been stopped by Gardai 8 or 9 times, as has my wife. On all occasions but one we had to explain patiently to the Gardai in question that they were wrong. The other time one of my kids reversed a tax disc in it’s holder.

    17 year olds in other countries (I think possibly 16 year olds in Finland) know more about driving theory than the VAST majority of our Gardai and judges!

    The only properly trained driving instructors we have in Ireland are those who trained, qualified and worked abroad and then returned home or foreign fleet instructors recruited by large companies such as bus eireann.

    The only competent judges or Gardai (with regard to driving) in Ireland are those who either learned abroad themselves or from one of the returned competent instructors.

    I liken driving to music; classical, jazz or folk. Driving in Ireland is folksy in the extreme; all about copying what you see and very little formal training. The UK is classical; very, very competent but a bit uptight. In some countries, Finland for example, they have the competence but acquire extra jazzy skills to cope with their own unique driving environment. I believe skid pan testing is mandatory there, for L drivers!

    I don’t know, ha ha…… I suppose if we don’t invest the money and the wit it ain’t gonna happen.

Comments are closed.