The Guarding of Ireland (Hardback)Conor Brady (author)
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In this timely history of the Garda Siochana, Conor Brady, widely recognised as the most authoritative historian of Irish policing, explores some of the biggest challenges the force has faced since 1960.
Beginning with one of their greatest tests - maintaining the security of the Irish State during the Northern crisis - he goes on to chronicle the emergence of guns in Irish criminal life and the rapid expansion of the domestic drug trade.
Acknowledged as one of the successes of the independent Irish State, the Garda Siochana has not been without its flaws and its failings, and the author does not shy away from exploring these.
The Guarding of Ireland comprehensively covers the recent crisis surrounding the alleged bugging of the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), privacy concerns in relation to the recording of Garda phone calls, and the penalty points/whistle-blower controversy that led to the resignation of Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and Justice Minister Alan Shatter.
Other fascinating subjects explored are how the supposed operational independence of the organisation has led to clashes with those in political authority, the difficulties surrounding structural reform and the author's thesis that there is a distinct correlation between the political health of the State and the way its police discharge their functions.
It is a story marked by success and failure, by attempted reform and resistance to change, by outstanding individual performance and deplorable lapses in discipline. More than an account of policing and politics, this is the story of the Republic's troubled coming of age.
'Conor Brady's new book, The Guarding of Ireland, takes the history of the force from 1960 to the present day, through the State's fight for its very survival against subversives - his access to the 1970s Finlay report lays bare the State's terrifying vulnerability - only then to collide with the hydra-headed monster of organised crime.' - Kathy Sheridan, The Irish Times
'The Guarding of Ireland focuses on Irish policing from 1969, which saw both the publication of the Conroy report and the commencement of the Troubles, up to the current and ongoing scandals that this year have led to the resignation of both a commissioner and a minister for justice.' - Vicky Conway, The Irish Times Weekend Review
'The prevailing culture echoes down through the five decades covered in The Guarding of Ireland. For every vignette of personal heroism, like that of Garda Reynolds, for every case of dedicated public service from individual members, there are also examples of a culture that leaves much to be desired. What emerges from these pages, however, is that the culture within the force is attributable, to a great extent, to attitudes and oversight from its political masters. In this regard, nothing looms as large as the darkest days of the Troubles.' - Mick Clifford, Irish Examiner
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 700 g
Dimensions: 240 x 160 x 35 mm
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