The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Sunday, July 02, 2006


At 1030pm this evening on Thomas Street in Dublin near the Augustinian church, I drove through a red light.
A black car directly behind me immediately sounded a siren. I pulled in. It was unmarked but it had to be a police car.
A bearded man in a casual jacket approached and leaned in the pavement side window of my vehicle.
No sign of a uniform.
"Do you know you broke a red light?" he said.
I told him I knew.
He said I should be more careful, and added that he wasn't going to take the matter further.
Another man approached and stood at the driver side window.
He was not wearing a uniform either. He had his hair styled to look like the Irish football player Niall Quinn.
He began shouting.
"You could have killed someone. There's drug dealers on this street. What if you had caused an accident?"
Much of what he said was incoherent, particularly the mention of drug dealers.
I answered him quietly and calmly and politely.
The first man stayed at the pavement side window of my car and seemed to signal me with his eyes to stay cool.
"Have you been drinking?" shouted the Niall Quinn wannabee.
I told him I hadn't.
"Why are your eyes bloodshot?" he shouted.
All shouting.
Most surreal.
He shouted other things too. Sometimes questions. Sometimes remarks about road safety.
My tone remained respectful. I was still in the mode of thinking of these two as genuine police officers doing their job.
The typical mode that we Irish adopt when dealing with law enforcement professionals.
At the same time I was beginning to wonder to myself what the hell was going on. Something of this must have showed on my face.
"There really are drug dealers on this street," the bearded man said somewhat apologetically. "That's why we're giving you a hard time."
Now I knew something was wrong.
Because Beardy looked worried.
And he wasn't worried for himself either.
He was worried for me.
I looked at him.
This was the opinion I formed.
The bearded man was actually trying to prevent his partner from attacking me.
His partner began shouting again:
"You're smiling at me."
He said this four times.
It is the classic comment of a yob looking for a fight.
Finally I said firmly enough: "That won't wash. That business about smiling is not okay. You've said it a few times now and it's not okay." The shouting policeman said: "I don't care what you do for a living."
This remark came out of left field.
I began to apply the brakes.
I said I found his remark offensive and asked him what he meant by it.
He said: "You've been trying to flash your journalist card at me since we stopped you."
I repeated in a loud voice that his suggestion was offensive. I said it in such a way he was in no doubt I meant it.
There was tiny bit of the old Heelers iron in my voice.
But this was a bad man.
This was no amateur.
There was no way he was going to be afraid of me.
He said: "Are you man enough to accept an apology?"
I said: "That's okay Garda."
Moments later I drove home.

In Kilcullen an hour later, I rang Garda headquarters which is located at Harcourt Street in Dublin. (And may be phoned at (01) 6660000, should any of you have any concerns about the policemen whose wages we all pay.) There I got the runaround. A Garda told me there were no reports of any incident on Thomas Street. He said standard procedure would be for officers to ring in an incident if they had stopped someone. He said he had checked with several stations around Dublin and they had no such reports either. He suggested the individuals might have been undercover police operating with the Drugs Squad or other more secretive Garda agencies. He was unwilling to contact these himself. He suggested I might like to make a complaint about the incident through official channels. I told him I certainly would.

We Irish have a problem with our police.
There's no point in pretending we don't.
We've been blind to it because we are so worried about terrorism and drug dealing.
Here is the news.
Many of our police are thugs, and no one is watching them.
Thug Gardai betray all those who have given their lives in the line of duty.
Thug Gardai betray all those who refuse the bribes offered by crime barons and their ilk.
Thug Gardai betray the name, heritage and traditions of AN GARDA SIOCHANA.
They are nothing.
Useless traitors to our country, to our culture and to our people.
We have a problem.
It's real.
It is not going away.


Blogger Schneewittchen said...

Methinks the bad Garda doth protest too much, I wonder what he'd been smoking....

8:34 AM  
Blogger heelers said...

Schnee I needed some light relief this morning and you gave it with this comment.
The future will thank you for it.

2:10 AM  

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