Guardians of the Peace is a political history of the Irish police force, An Garda Síochana, from its foundation at the birth of the Irish State, through the Irish Civil War, the threat of the fascist ‘Blueshirts’, the continuing campaign of the IRA, de Valera’s entry into the Dáil in 1932 and the creation, effectively of his own police force – ’The Broy Harriers’ – through World War 2.
As the author outlines in his insightful introduction, the story told in this book is part of a longer and wider narrative. But it is a story which still has relevance as Ireland moves, hopefully, to a new era of peace and stability. It is above all a chronicle of the idealism and the imperfections of ordinary men presented by history with the discharging of a rather extraordinary task.
As the force approaches one hundred years since its founding, it is hoped that this history will evoke the ideals and the founding principles adopted in 1922 and perhaps help to re-interpret and re-apply them in a 21st Century context.
Originally published in 1974 , this is a much expanded edition, issued for the centenary of An Garda Síochana, with a new introduction from Drew Harris
CONOR BRADY is former editor of The Irish Times and former member of the Garda Ombudsman Commission. He is an Honorary Professor of Journalism at NUI Galway and is chair of the Top Level Appointments Committee. He is the author of numerous books, both non-fiction and fiction.