Gardai out of control - Morris
Gardai out of control - Morris

The Morris Tribunal of Inquiry into Garda police corruption has spoken of widespread anarchy in the force.

The investigation into delinquent police behaviour in County Donegal has continued to expand both in scope and depth.

In his latest broadside at the 26-County police force, Morris wrote: that he was “staggered” by the amount of indiscipline and insubordination in the force.

“There is a small, but disproportionately influential, core of mischief-making members who will not obey orders, who will not follow procedures, who will not tell the truth and who have no respect for their officers,” he wrote.

The tribunal’s reports come on the heels of a controversy over prison overcrowding and a report into the unwarranted Garda killing of Longford man John Carthy during a siege at his home at Abbeylara six years ago.

Scandal-plagued Minister for Justice Michael McDowell said the latest criticism of the Gardai was “extremely disturbing”.

The reports deals with incidents of planted evidence -- including the placing of a bomb on a telecommunications mast -- among other attempts to frame innocent civilians.

Amid scathing criticism of some gardai and structures within the Garda Siochana, the Morris report’s depiction of a dysfunctional police force is redolent of the work of comic writer Flann O’Brien.

Speaking after the reports were published, Mr McDowell said that of most concern to him about this report was its conclusion that misbehaviour was not limited to Gardai in Donegal.

Mr McDowell said the tribunal’s findings on gross abuses of powers and fabrication of evidence were “completely unacceptable and deplorable”.

“I want to assure the public and those upstanding members of the Service that there will be no toleration of such appalling behaviour,” he declared.

Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus O Snodaigh TD has McDowell to initiate investigations into garda corruption in jurisdictions outside Donegal.

He said, “Sinn Féin has long argued that Garda corruption is not a problem confined solely to Donegal and that in fact it is rampant throughout the twenty-six counties.

“Today’s reports from the Morris Tribunal reinforce our analysis of the situation and highlight the need for investigations into corruption in other divisions.”


The Minister is still reeling from the fallout over the ghoulish murder of a 21-year-old prisoner inside Mountjoy jail in Dublin.

Two weeks ago Gary Douch, from Tallaght in Dublin, was beaten and strangled to death while sleeping on the floor of a “protection cell” with six other prisoners.

The man who killed him had a history of mental illness and violence. He was only housed in the protection cell because overcrowding meant there was no room for him elsewhere in the prison.

Prison warders and others in the cell were said to be too scared to intervene. Douch had asked for a transfer to a safe cell for his own protection after telling warders that he feared for his life.

Recent reports from prison committees have complained about overcrowding, low accommodation standards, poor or non-existent psychiatric services and outbreaks of violence.

The dungeon-like basement of the notorious Mountjoy has some cells containing over twenty prisoners each in dangerously overcrowded, sub-human conditions.

One report described the prison as the “biggest methadone clinic in the country” but noted that drugs were easily accessible there.

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