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Press Release: Shell to Sea respond to Shatter's replacement as Minister for Justice
national | crime and justice | press release Sunday May 11, 2014 21:21 by Shell to Sea
Shell to Sea notes the resignation of Alan Shatter and his replacement by Frances Fitzgerald as Minister for Justice as a long overdue development. Terence Conway, Shell to Sea spokesperson, says “Alan Shatter showed contempt for everybody who raised issues of wrongdoing in an Garda Siochána and it was clear he never had any intention of dealing with institutional corruption in the Gardaí. We ask that his successor takes immediate action to deal with the blatant abuses of power that, unfortunately, are rampant within the force.”
While Mr Shatter came under strong criticism for his handling of the Garda whistleblowers, the bugging of GSOC's offices and the penalty points controversy, his refusal to consider any investigation of Garda policies, tactics and procedures in relation to the policing of the Shell/Corrib dispute was nothing short of beligerent. Not only did Minister Shatter rebuke every call for an inquiry into the Gardaí in relation to this matter, he also engaged in a hostile campaign to discredit the legitimate protests that have taken place in north Mayo since 2002, consistently refering to “protest tourism” and attempting to obscure the fact that opposition to Shell/Corrib stems first and foremost from local residents who have never been properly consulted nor given their consent for the imposition of a massive industrial project in the heart of their community.
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This is quite a good statement from the SWP.
The Government thought the scandals would go away, especially after Minister for Justice Alan Shatter resigned in disgrace, but new revelations of Garda corruption and abuse expose just how rotten the entire political system is in Ireland.
A number of sworn affidavits were sent to both Enda Kenny and Alan Shatter. These shocking new allegations include:
- A nurse who says he witnessed the death of a patient in Garda handcuffs. The nurse says he was then subjected to ongoing harassment by the police to keep his mouth shut.
- A doctor who says he saw many people brutalised in Garda custody and was bullied by the police to stay quiet.
- A teacher who says allegations related to child protection were made by the police in order to blacken and discredit him.
Gardai out of control
These and previous allegations expose an unaccountable police force out of control. They are beating people in custody, bullying witnesses, working with the drug underworld and all the while acting with confidence because the political elite will protect them.
Police forces were created in the 1800's to tackle the workers movement. Recruitment to the police has always followed the level of class struggle. When there is more intense class struggle the ruling class employ more cops.
The psychology of the police officer is adapted to this opposition to the workers movement. They have to justify baton charges against protests in their own heads. Even the person who joins with the best intentions will have to adapt to the prevailing ideas in the organisation.
They are also encouraged to see themselves as defenders of society against marginalised groups - so they explain away kicking in asylum seekers doors or bullying poorer working class kids by blaming the victims.
This combines to produce authoritarian and right wing attitudes. In most international surveys the police have far more right wing views than the rest of society.
In Ireland the State's battle against the Republican movement meant the police became especially corrupt as they spied on activists, infiltrated IRA cells and developed a 'deep' State- an unaccountable security apparatus that operates behind the scenes.
The low level of economic development when Ireland first emerged from under the wing of the British empire also meant that the State treasury was a rare source of accumulated capital and so the entire system became about developing political connections in order to grab some of the pie and succeed in business.
Most of the Irish rich climbed up on the back of State funds. Bribery, corruption and the brown envelope were your path to wealth. Their confidence and arrogance was fed by the knowledge the State would protect them.
This cosy club of the Irish rich was defended by the Church and a corrupt State machine. The main political parties were vehicles for the rich and the Labour Party was always easily contained and never really willing to rock the boat.
It's not just Shatter that needs to go -the whole edifice of the Irish State is absolutely corrupted.
We need to dismantle the structures of this old rotten Ireland and start the process of building a society that operates in the open, that is accountable, that is built by working class people to serve our own interests.
To get that we will need a people power revolution.
It is about time that the policing of Corrib was investigated.
The Guerin Report was published last Friday. The very brief press release is found below.
The Irish Times reported Fri 9th May that former minister for Justice, Alan Shatter is shown in bad light in the report which is true for as it says:
Guerin’s report shows the only action taken by the Department or the Minister was to refer the matter back to the Garda Commissioner.
The key paragraph of Guerin reads: “In effect the process of determining McCabe’s complaints went no further than the Minister receiving and acting upon the advice of the person who was the subject of the complaint [the Commissioner].”
For someone of Shatter's calibre and intellect, it is unbelievable that he simply took the word of the commissioner at face value. Surely all his years of politics would have thought him that there is practically no situation where it makes sense to do this.
The report can be found at the link below and also as the attachment here.
Guerin Report May 2014 9.32 Mb