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Polling The Police

It’s been reported that over half of our police think they should be armed.

You can always tell it’s the silly season when stories like this pop up.

Growing up, I could always tell when summer had officially started it when one of the newspapers ran a Blaney To Rejoin Fianna Fáil story, until his nephew went and spoiled it all by actually returning to the fold.

Arming The Guards is a hardy perennial, along with old reliables like Abolishing Compulsory Irish From The Leaving and the ever-popular Getting Rid Of The Seanad.

Like most silly season stories, the Armed Garda report doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

In the seventh paragraph, the Irish Independent reveals that the results come from an online poll on the GRA website, and ‘a total of 159, out of more than 10,000 rank and file members, took part in the survey.’

Hardly a representative sample.

The Irish Times doesn’t mention how many Gardaí responded, but notes that (already armed) detectives oppose the idea, while a majority of student gardaí are in favour.

That may say more about age differences in computer literacy than about the opinions of the force when it comes to firearms.