Ireland Police to Establish New Anti-Corruption Unit

Published: 13 May 2019

Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation NBCI

Garda officers search a suspect (Wikimedia)

By Aisha Kehoe Down

A new anti-corruption unit is being established in the Garda, Ireland’s police force, to respond to complaints and investigate internal corruption among members of the force.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Association of Garda Superintendents in Naas, Co Kildare, Garda commissioner Drew Harris said that the new unit will be formed by the end of the year and it will deal with the various threats to the integrity of the organization.

“They could be things like drugs, inappropriate associations with criminal gangs and inappropriate behaviour towards vulnerable victims, towards vulnerable females in particular,” said Garda commissioner Drew Harris last week, according to the Irish Times.

“Our integrity is not negotiable. People should be very clear that we are serious about having a good organisation; well run and healthy,” the paper quoted him as saying.

But critics say that Harris was putting too much of a priority on internal discipline while not having hired enough staff to respond to the latest security threats, such as vicious turf wars between rival gangs over control of the drug trade that have wrecked Irish cities like Dublin.

Young children have been used as drug runners. Cars have been burned, homes have been attacked, people have been murdered.

The intensity of the feud has put pressure on the police force. Harris has been under pressure to increase employment dramatically by the end of the year.

Harris emphasized that transparency in the country’s police force was paramount, even in troubled times.

“As an organization we want to be proactive, we want to show that we are very serious about making sure we have a healthy workforce, which is an honest workforce,” he said.