Gardaí on the streets of Belfast? Well, one day certainly (though maybe not under that name) but in January 2013?
According to the internet-based news site Belfast Daily, in a story tagged “exclusive“, some 200 members of An Garda Síochána are now in Ireland’s second largest city serving alongside the PSNI, the regional paramilitary police force in the north-east of the country:
“THE PSNI has drafted in 200 Garda officers to bolster riot squad numbers in Northern Ireland.
Belfast Daily can reveal that the deployment of Irish police specially trained in public order duties followed telephone discussions between PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott and Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in recent weeks.
The bill for the Garda officers wages will be met by the Treasury in London under a special security contigency budget.
A senior security source told Belfast Daily that the Garda officers were needed because the PSNI was at “breaking point”.”
Does this sound even remotely true? Certainly social media in the British Unionist community is fairly buzzing with the claim but I believe most people will greet it with scepticism. However, while it may not be true now, as I indicated above, it will be true in the years to come. Eventually we will have a regional, semi-autonomous police service in the north-east of Ireland, within a reunited Ireland, that will rely on An Garda Síochána for support. It just seems that the Belfast Daily has jumped the gun somewhat (so to speak!).
Meanwhile the anti-democratic demonstrations and rioting in the north of the country by extremists from the British Unionist minority is given a caustic examination over on Its A Political World, the group-blog of the Politicalworld forum. The Q&A with a “decent, Christian protester” is well worth reading.