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Gardaí to receive memo over checkpoint behaviour


Edwin McGreal

A Garda chief in Mayo will issue a memo to gardaí in the county after concerns were raised about the behaviour of some gardaí at checkpoints over the last year.
Det Supt Joe McKenna (pictured) told last Friday’s Mayo Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting that he will issue the memo after hearing complaints from members of the committee over Garda behaviour.
Mayo TD Dara Calleary brought up the issue, referring to checkpoints at Christmas 2018.
“Last year, at this time of the year, there were a huge amount of checkpoints and certainly the feedback from constituents and a lot of people who met those checkpoints, people felt a certain lack of reasonableness.
“Community relations are very important for the Gardaí. Yes, checkpoints have to be done, but there needs to be reasonableness on those checkpoints when people are met. Even people who sailed through the checkpoints found a level of aggression, frankly, when they were being asked to be breathalysed, and [complaints] came from people of all ages from all over the county,” said Deputy Calleary.
Cllr Michael Burke said it was ‘important the ordinary driver who is stopped on the road be treated with the utmost courtesy’. “Sometimes I don’t know if that happens,” he said.
Cllr Al McDonnell said the ‘goodwill of the public’ is needed to tackle crime. “It is extremely important that goodwill is there. I think last year ye lost a bit of that,” he said.
Responding, Det Supt McKenna said he would tackle the issue. “I’m very disappointed to hear of the lack of courtesy at checkpoints and levels of aggression even. To hear about members of An Garda Siochána being unpleasant or discourteous is not nice … I certainly will bring that back to our members, and I will send out a memo,” he said.
“There are over 300 members in Mayo. Most of our members would be courteous, but if there is a bad apple or bad behaviour, I’m glad it is being brought to my attention, because it is something that can be worked on.”