It looks like McDowell is giving a "ringing apology" (Realplayer) to the McBrearty's and other families affected by the scandalous actions of corrupt and out of control Gardaí in Donegal.
The McBrearty case has been bubbling away for about eight years now, since clear evidence came to light that all was not well. Where has the Irish media been on this? I can think of only a handful who were brave enough to carry the topic. What happened to the rest of the Serious Media who daily define our perceptions of events in this country?
In the low-level war against the IRA, did the Guards - like the British security services - become a law unto themselves, unaccountable for any abuses of their privileged position in society? Did they become above the law of the land? Are they still above the law? Will the defanged Garda ombudsman we have been alloted be enough to restore public confidence? Isn't it the basis of the Gardaí that:
"The Garda Síochána will succeed not by force of arms or numbers, but on their moral authority as servants of the people"
If the Guards lose their moral authority, what are we left with?
For a long time, the hacks otherwise known as "crime" and "security" correspondants (and even certain opinion columnists) have fed us misleading information and even outright falsehoods. Many of these names will readily occur to anyone who has been paying attention over the years - for those who haven't, there are always Goldhawk's back-issues.
Outside the pages of Old Magill, the Sunday Business Post and the Phoenix, none of our press did their job. If the McBrearty scandal isn't a clarion-call to arms for a blogosphere to hold the Irish media to account, then I don't know what is.
Ahhh, as our Paper of Record says today - but look over there - café bars! *
(* Today's Irish Times (09/06/05) headline: "Taoiseach insists cafe bars are still only proposals". The McBrearty scandal is not even referenced on the News Digest on the front page, and buried on Page 9)