Senior gardai will get honesty lessons!?

The gardai in Ireland were part of more scandals in recent years than they should have been. There was the corruption that was revealed by whistleblower Sergeant McCabe, then he was bullied and accused of a lot of things incorrectly. penalty points were deleted by gardai and more recently totally wrong and over-exaggerated number of alcohol tests on Irish roads were published.

The amount of scandals are seriously worrying and something has to be done about it. But it is shocking nevertheless to see that the solution is to give lessons about the nine points of the Garda Ethics Code.

The Garda Ethics Code was launched seven months ago by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and was described as a “as a beacon to guide ethical behaviour in An Garda Síochána for years to come”.

It is clearly an example of “whatever you do is wrong”, because if nothing was done about the problem we would all shake our heads and complain. But when something is done, we also shake our head and complain. …just for different reasons.

My biggest question is if anybody really thinks a “Code of Ethics” will make a difference. A good, honest and upstanding Garda will be exactly that (good, honest and upstanding) before and after the training and why would he need that training?? And a dodgy and dishonest garda will not suddenly out of the blue repent and turn his life around and become honest. So, is that Code of Ethics just a joke? Pretending to do something?

How did this make it into the news? The Office of Government Procurement is looking for a suitable provider who will give classes about the “Garda Code of Ethics” to 1000 gardai. That Code of Ethics is about upholding the laws, acting with honesty and integrity, speaking up and reporting any wrongdoing or corrupt, unethical or unprofessional behaviour of colleagues.

All topics seem to be exactly the traits that you expect as natural and minimum requirements for someone who is a gardai and it is not a good sign that all senior gardai need to be trained on it. It is also not a good sign that only the senior gardai will be trained. Is it expected that they will brief the rest OR are only senior gardai not honest YET OR is there no hope for the rest?

And why did it take seven months from launching this Code of Ethics until teaching the 1000 about it?

Quite odd this whole situation and definitely not what we would have thought our gardai to be.