Why not establish an Irish civilian intelligence organisation?

publicrealm

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Probably, I haven't heard anything too awful since all the Tom Clonan stuff brought changes, it is a relatively closed world though just like the AGS so I am distrustful of the selection processes for the officers. Is it on merit or on pull like the AGS from Garda to Inspector and political connection like the AGS from inspector up?
There is less actual power to influence day to day like in the armed forces as they don't stop drunken politicians or ignore politicians being at murder scenes or prevaricate until the statute of limitations expires on white collar crimes so maybe not.
Most officers come through the cadet competition system. That is very open and obtaining a cadetship is very strictly on merit. If a cadet makes it through training he/she is Commissioned.

Promotion of Officers is also strictly on merit. Selection for G2 is generally by invitation.

There is certainly a level of political interference at the very highest level of the DF - the top few Generals. None below that. This policical interference is undesirable but I think it is a hangover from the time when the State feared the Defence Forces. Historically, there has also been a small civilian (Civil Service) element to G2 - possibly for the same reason.
 


Ardillaun

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No but I know what it's about. Canada, Australia and Singapore established civilian intelligence organisations relatively recently, i.e. in the period since the start of the Cold War, but they're not dictatorships (before you mention Lee Kuan Yew, I think it's accurate to describe Singapore as a democracy at present).
It would provide new opportunities for scandals, if Canada's experience is anything to go by:

Former CSIS watchdog boss Arthur Porter arrested on fraud charges | CTV News
 

Mad as Fish

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No but I know what it's about. Canada, Australia and Singapore established civilian intelligence organisations relatively recently, i.e. in the period since the start of the Cold War, but they're not dictatorships (before you mention Lee Kuan Yew, I think it's accurate to describe Singapore as a democracy at present).
Knowing what it's about is not the same as understanding the warning it contains.
 

Jim Car

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Best practice would say there should be. Multiple agencies sets you up for trouble just look at Belgium and France. Though Belgium is an extreme case.
The problem is and Garth Fitzgearld even referred to this in his book. Defence and national security has a worryingly low profile in Ireland. In most governments defence would be one of the more senior positions in many case in the top three in Ireland its one of the lower. No politician has an interest in it and we don't really possess many people with specialities or knowledge in the area, its the sad and dangerous truth.
 

former wesleyan

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If an external candidate instead of Nóirín O'Sullivan had been appointed as Garda Commissioner then the Commissioner might have been stripped of responsibility for national security because an officer in charge of our national security has to be an Irish citizen (though it might not have been a problem if a successful external candidate had relatively recent Irish ancestry).

A solution to this problem is to establish an civilian intelligence organisation (as opposed to military intelligence - G2). After all, the Canadian government established one after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was hit by scandal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Security_Intelligence_Service

Even Singapore, which is a quite small state, has a secret service.
For a civilian intelligence service to work properly there needs to be corporate memory, like MI5 and 6 have. It's not possible to put an ad in the Irish Times and expect to start an intelligence gathering corps.
 

The Field Marshal

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Why not estiablish an Irish civilian intelligence organisation?
Would that be like the B Specials?
To avoid confusion they could be called

the VB Specials.
 

Karloff

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Why not estiablish an Irish civilian intelligence organisation?
Would that be like the B Specials?
I do think it would have a 'one track mind' from a security perspective alright.

I think the British already DO our intelligence anyway don't they?
 

davidcameron

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davidcameron

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For a civilian intelligence service to work properly there needs to be corporate memory, like MI5 and 6 have. It's not possible to put an ad in the Irish Times and expect to start an intelligence gathering corps.
The Canadian intelligence service was established in 1984 and it's still working - though it screwed up by failing to prevent the 1985 Air India atrocity but the CIA and the FBI (which is a law enforcement organisation and, like An Garda Síochána and UK police services, also has an intelligence operation) screwed up by failing to prevent 9/11.

Every intelligence service has to start somewhere.
 

former wesleyan

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Ardillaun

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Porter wasn't a member of the CSIS - he was the head of the committee that monitors the work of the CSIS.

Besides, even if he was a member of the CSIS, he would still have been accountable to the police and a court of law for his alleged crimes.
Well, one would still have to have a similar oversight body in Ireland, so it goes with the territory.

In practice, the Canadian parliament does not oversee CSIS at all.

So, there are clear problems that can arise but I still think we should do it.
 

Norman Bates

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I can't find any reference to intelligence services, even in Canada, which is not part of the police force or army.

Our Gardaí, and Army have also their own intelligence services.
Any citizen is free to report any suspicious behaviour to them.

So, what's new with this ...

Sounds very like the SA or Gestapo to me?

Brown shirts, blue shirts or whatever you're having yourself.
 


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