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GARDA COMMISSIONER Fachtna Murphy and Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern have rejected suggestions that arming all gardaí with incapacitating pepper sprays represents a move towards arming the whole force with firearms.
The Garda Representative Association (GRA) and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (Agsi) both welcomed yesterday's announcement regarding the distribution of sprays to every member of the force.
Mr Murphy said the decision had been taken following an extensive trawl of best international practice and against a background of rising attacks on members of the force, up from 356 attacks in 2005 to 655 last year.
He said some 3,000 detectives were already qualified to carry firearms. There was no possibility he would go further and issue firearms to uniformed members.
"We have policed this country since 1922 as a uniformed unarmed force and we'll continue to do that," he said.
He was "delighted" the Cabinet had accepted his recommendation that sprays be issued to all Garda members. Mr Murphy was speaking at a Garda passing out ceremony at the Garda College, Templemore, Co Tipperary.
He said the pepper sprays would at first be given to the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) followed by all other gardaí in the weeks and months ahead. Their use would be governed by strict protocols and a thorough training package would be provided.
The arming of gardaí with pepper sprays was first recommended by the Garda Inspectorate after it studied the report of the Barr Tribunal into the shooting dead by gardaí of John Carthy in Abbeylara, Co Longford.
The inspectorate was concerned at the limited range of less-than-lethal weapons available to gardaí. It also expressed concern at the preparedness of uniformed gardaí to tackle high-risk assailants.
Mr Ahern said he believed the use of sprays would not compromise the Garda's unarmed status. Despite the increase in attacks on members of the force, he saw no justification for uniformed officers to be issued with firearms, as is the case in many jurisdictions.
He wanted to ensure individual gardaí were well-equipped, "within the law and within reason", to deal with the increased levels of assaults against them. In other countries when the sprays were introduced, complaints had dropped about the use of excessive force by police, he said.
GRA general secretary PJ Stone said the effects of the spray wore off in 40 minutes. Agsi general secretary Joe Dirwan said the sprays would cause less personal injury than the use of Garda batons.
Irish Council for Civil Liberties director Mark Kelly has urged caution: "These weapons are particularly dangerous if used against people whose health is impaired or on young people."
IRISH TIMES
 

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This is totally unnecessary.
The Garda should help settle disputes as self-respecting Irishmen have done for eons.
1. We drink ourselves into incoherence.
2. We fight and pummel each other back to coherence.
3. Then sob, apologize profusely, and tell each other how much we really love each other.
4. Repeat step 1
<End of situation.>
 

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This is totally unnecessary.
The Garda should help settle disputes as self-respecting Irishmen have done for eons.
1. We drink ourselves into incoherence.
2. We fight and pummel each other back to coherence.
3. Then sob, apologize profusely, and tell each other how much we really love each other.
4. Repeat step 1
<End of situation.>
Thats how it should be with everybody.:t:
 

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Maybe they should just issue fluffy pillows to throw at criminals. They couldn't even go the extra step and issue Tasers? I still don't understand why people would be opposed to arming their own police department. Is it due to bad memories of when the English governed the country?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Kiljoy asked: "Is it due to bad memories of when the English governed the country? "

Just remember that most police in the U.K. are not armed under normal circumstances either. I have spoken with police officers in both countries and many of those I spoke to are dead set against ever carrying firearms.
I spoke with an S.A.S. officer several years ago and he indicated then that they were trying to get more English officers trained tactically and to handle firearms as they were constantly being called into assist with operations but they were met with strong opposition from many bobbies.
I have spoken to many Irish Gardai and they also are resistant to being forced to carry guns in spite of the fact guns are being used more and more by criminals.
Several Irishmen I spoke to (police and civilians) pointed to episodes of "Cops" which they've seen, and said we are, in their "respectful opinion" being too aggressive in dealing with the public and blame the fact we carry firearms for this "aggression."
I don't agree with this obviously but that is the way we are viewed by many overseas.
 

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Rumor has it that they're also considering using two way radios although there is deep concern that the transmissions may annoy bystanders.
 

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Several Irishmen I spoke to (police and civilians) pointed to episodes of "Cops" which they've seen, and said we are, in their "respectful opinion" being too aggressive in dealing with the public and blame the fact we carry firearms for this "aggression."
I don't agree with this obviously but that is the way we are viewed by many overseas.
Maybe they are right, but then again, it sounds like they like to police the Vagina Mcginastein way. Then again, I could be wrong, but I doubt it.
 
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