Seanad debates

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


10:30 am

Photo of Diarmuid WilsonDiarmuid Wilson (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

This morning on my way here from Cavan I drove through very severe fog for most of my journey. I was astonished at the number of cars that had no lights on, not to mention fog lights, in what were very treacherous driving conditions. I call on the Road Safety Authority, RSA, which has conducted very successful road safety campaigns on speed, tiredness and drink driving, to also devise a campaign on driving in very hazardous conditions such as fog, ice and snow. The RSA campaigns have proved to be very successful. I was astonished at the number of people who were driving without even their normal lights on this morning.

I wish to raise a related issue in terms of traffic and An Garda Síochána. Since the foundation of the force in 1922, bar a few glitches, An Garda Síochána has served the community of the Twenty-six Counties on this island with distinction. However, I have noticed recently that the word "Garda" is being dropped from a number of areas. We have the Policing Authority, reports on the future of policing and, most recently, I noticed that newer Garda cars do not carry the "Garda Traffic Corps" mark, which is a well respected brand throughout the length and breadth of the Twenty-six Counties, but have "Traffic Policing" on them. I am concerned that there is an attempt to denude the brand of An Garda Síochána. I am highlighting this because it would be a pity to do so. Since 1922 An Garda Síochána has guarded the peace and safety of our citizens. It could become known as the police but I do not want to see that happening. I hope that this is not as a result of the new Garda Commissioner coming from a police state.


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