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Practical Patriotism - Securing the Irish State

Updated: Oct 1, 2022








While much has been written on the History of An Garda Síochána and with some exceptions these have covered singular episodes or events. The context for individual stories has often been ignored in search of the Dramatic Headline.


This Book has placed the overall context of the relationship between the Political Leaders and the development of Policing and Security Organisation in a Decade long framework which has been meticulously recorded and explained.


There is no attempt to eulogise when such praise would be inappropriate but the intention was to record the factual events in true details and to answer some fundamental questions. Where praise is required it is generously provided.


The Force has remained one which had operated on a Policing by Consent Model as distinct from the more common paramilitary model adopted by its predecessor the RIC on the direction of the British government.


It recognises that its survival from its inception was down to a few factors. The Force was not a protagonist in the Civil War in a Military sense. It was at least two years before the State Security role passed to An Garda Síochána as the National Army was demobilised in 1924.


The AGS passed the first test when political power changed hands in 1932/1933 it continued to serve the State. This transition was not without its challenges but nevertheless the basic the test of loyalty to the State was passed. This concept was not always clear in the minds of Government or individual Gardaí but overall the principle has held fast down through the decades. In the history of the State all political parties behave in Government, in much the same way, certainly this true of the main political parties regardless of their utterances in opposition. There was seminal period in the 1980s where strong overt political pressure was brought to bear on the Force leadership and these episodes left some scar tissue behind.


Most of all this is an account the people who served with distinction and their families and those who continue to serve in current times. This is not unqualified endorsement and events are examined critically and dispassionately.


Most importantly and for first time 100 years of policing and security experience is captured within the covers of one book and the reader is invited to engage and to discourse freely.






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