Politicians' power over policing is unhealthy

An independent police authority, positioned between minister and commissioner, could be the answer to the concentration of political power over policing, writes Vicky Conway.

25th May, 2013
Martin Callinan, Garda Commissioner, pictured earlier this year with Alan Shatter, Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence. Photo: Collins

Alan Shatter's disclosure of information in relation to Deputy Mick Wallace generates two distinct questions: was it an abuse of power for him to possess that information and, secondly, was it an abuse of powers to disclose it?

The second question is essentially a political one. But answering the first question forces us to accept just how centrally - ie politically - controlled policing in Ireland is.

It is not a healthy relationship.

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