There were two machine pistol-related articles in TheJournal.ie last week and there are two completely different consequences coming from the discovery of these guns.
The first article on Wednesday explained that a “member of the public” FOUND a fully-loaded submachine gun belonging to no other than the Garda Siochana. The gun was in a bag in the boot of an armed Garda unit car and it fell out of the car for currently still unknown reasons. The gun was luckily brought to Store Street Garda station and was handed in.
As a consequence of the incident, “A senior Garda officer has been appointed to examine all the circumstances relating to an incident involving an armed unit in Dublin city centre today.”
The second article on Friday described that also on Wednesday a car was stopped in Drogheda and the driver of the car had a large amount of prescription tablets. She was arrested and during a follow-on search a machine pistol and a ammunition were found in a parked car in Drogheda.
The consequence in this case is that the woman will be in court tomorrow and will be charged in connection with the discovery of the machine pistol.
The two stories have nothing to do with each other. In one case it was seemingly a criminal and/or dissident republican that had the gun and ammunition in the car to be used for illegal activities. In the other case it was the law enforcement authorities that had the pistol, but lost it.
Interestingly, though, both sides have very similar weapons and I would always prefer that the law enforcers have better and a lot more weapons than the criminals. The other interesting aspect is that a large part of the Gardai (is it still the majority?) are not armed at all, while the criminals have machine pistols in their cars. Is that a good situation? Me thinks: NO!
And the final aspect: Imagine that Garda machine pistol had been picked up by the “wrong” person. I’d say the Gardai didn’t even realise that it fell out of their car until MUCH later … with no idea where exactly it fell out. :-O Clearly machine pistols are popular in Ireland and finding one on the streets of Dublin is like winning the lottery for the right criminal.
About the consequences: Clearly the Gardai were authorised to have the gun, but the loss of it will hopefully have some consequences for the careless Gardai. And the woman in Drogheda? I wouldn’t be surprised if she will be released again “and a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecution”. If that happens you really have to wonder what a stupid legal system we have in Ireland.