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(en) Ireland, Anarchist journal Workers Solidarty #92 - Police killings in Ireland

Date Sun, 25 Jun 2006 10:48:58 +0300

The latest issue of Workers Solidarty runs a cover story on recent
killings of suspects by the Irish Gardai (police). This has become as
issue in the last year due to campaigns by the families of two men
who were killed in custody, Terence Wheelock and John Moloney.
Death by Gardai
The deaths of Terence Wheelock and John Moloney in Garda custody have again
focused attention on the brutal nature of policing in this state. Brian Rossiter
and John Carty are other names from a long list that have a public resonance.
Historically the Gardai have enjoyed a high level of public
confidence and support outside of some poorer working class
communities, and leftwing and republican circles. However the
constant drip, drip of corruption stories and bitter experience, has
gradually eroded this support.

Violence and corruption are part of any police force and for many
years the Gardai had the advantage of political cover for their actions
as the state perceived itself under threat from republicans. A culture
of getting results at any cost built up. The notorious “heavy
gang” operated with impunity in the 1970s, so Garda brutality is
nothing new.

As Ireland has become wealthier and more unequal, the ruling class
have been unwilling to tackle the problems that are plain to all but
the most biased observer. The Gardai are the first line of defence of
the status quo, their actions during any crisis are key to keeping the
rabble in line. But as old social control structures have broken down,
and in the absence of any serious subversive threat, peoples’
questioning of the Gardai’s authority and actions has increased.

The ERU who have killed several people in questionable
circumstances come in for regular criticism and hardly a day passes
where you will not hear someone complain of Garda graft or
pettiness. In some communities the Gardai are viewed with
suspicion and only turned to in the most desperate circumstances.

For now, despite all the talk, there is no real sanction on the actions
of the Gardai. Retirement on full pension is the usual
“punishment” for serious offenders. It is of critical
importance that people support the campaign of the Wheelock,
Moloney and other families for justice. Organised opposition can
hopefully save more lives and create an atmosphere where people
can begin working on community alternatives to the state’s hard
line force.

WS92 footer

This article is from Workers Solidarity 92, published June/July 2006

You can read more articles from this issue at

You can download the PDF file of WS92 from
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