November 29, 2021

The Editor speaks: An Irish cop with impressive pedigree

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Colin Wilsonweb2We now have a new police commissioner, Derek Patrick Byrne from Ireland.

One of our lead stories today from the Irish Independent describes his leaving his previous post as Assistant Commissioner at the gardaí, as a “major blow”.

Byrne had been assistant commissioner for eight years, one of its most experienced officers and was involved in a lengthy series of criminal investigations over three decades.

The Irish Independent story also says he had previously been short-listed for the position of chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and also for executive director of Interpol.

He had been looking for somewhere else to go, the article says, for the past two years.

Byrnes was cleared of any suggestion of wrongdoing at the O’Higgins inquiry into police corruption pertaining to the Cavan/Monaghan Division of the Garda Síochána.

The Commission arose from the report of May 2014 from Mr Sean Guerin, SC, to An Taoiseach concerning allegations made by Sergeant Maurice McCabe. The Government accepted Mr. Guerin’s recommendation that a Commission of Investigation was desirable in the public interest in order to ensure continuing confidence in the institution of the Garda Síochána and the criminal justice system.

Mr Justice Kevin O’Higgins was sole member of the Commission – hence its name.

The Commission found “Mr McCabe had “performed a genuine public service at considerable personal cost” and “acted out of genuine and legitimate concerns”.

“The commission’s final report highlighted serious flaws in policing in the Cavan-Monaghan division and said a number of victims were “not well-served” by local gardaí.

“However, it found no evidence to support claims of garda corruption in the district.

“While some of Mr McCabe’s complaints were upheld, others were deemed to be either unfounded or overstated.”


Just hours after Byrne had begun to oversee the major crackdown of organised crime in Ireland, his home in Dublin was broken into by burglars through a kitchen window early on a Thursday morning.

From The Irish Mirror:

The robbers took the keys of a vehicle before getting away in the stolen car.

They didn’t find a second set of keys to another car in the house.

Investigating officers don’t think that Assistant Commissioner Derek Byrne’s house was deliberately targeted after the Criminal Assets Bureau’s searches of properties and seizure’s on Wednesday.

A source told the Irish Sun: “This was an audacious robbery and the gang appear to have been after the cars.

“There is no suggestion the Assistant Commissioner was targeted just because of his job.

“There have been four burglaries in this part of (Dublin) and the thieves have always been after the cars.

“They made the mistake of targeting one of the country’s most senior officers and probably wouldn’t have gone near the house if they knew who lived there.”


If you believe in coincidences then you might buy into that story.

I would have taken it as a warning.

I sincerely hope our new police chief will find his new position another challenge without threats from our criminal element that must be right amateur compared to what he has been dealing with.

If Byrne imagines for one moment his new job will be a sun on the sand he will surely get a rude awakening.

He will have to deal with a completely different set of people of many different ethnic and religious diversity, not only in his police force but the citizens of this country.

And he has to deal with politicians and worse still, us members of the media.

I really do wish him well in his job. His pedigree is first class.

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