GARDA SÍOCHÁNA: get to know the story of the police service of Ireland

Ireland is very famous worldwide for being a very safe country. According to the UN Human Security Report, the homicide rate per 100,000 people has reached the incredible mark of only 0.8%, proving that the country is indeed one of the safest in the world. However, do you know the story of those who protect the Emerald Island and its residents? Get to know the story of Garda Síochána now. Check out below:

The Irish Civil and Independence Wars:

An (pronounced like the English On) Garda Síochána was founded in 1923, just after the Irish Civil War 1922-1923 as an unarmed force. This was a bold and unusual step as the country was quite unstable at that time.

The Civil War followed the War of Independence 1919-1921. At the end of this war, there was a treaty made with the British in which the country was divided (as it is still today) in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The Republic was declared in 1949. Some people agreed with the treaty, others didn’t, hence the civil war. Therefore, it was very brave of the first Irish government to establish an unarmed police force in those circumstances.

Following the Civil War and the truce of July 1921 the RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary) disbanded and a new police force, “The Civic Guard” (renamed the Garda Síochána na hÉireann on 8 August 1923) was formed by Michael Collins and the Irish Government.


Meaning of Garda Síochána:

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Garda are guards, in other words, they guard and protect the residents of Ireland. Garda Síochána comes from the Irish language which literally means Guardians of the Peace. There is a huge difference between to police which means to control and to guard which means to protect. The idea behind the name comes from the French philosopher and thinker Michel Foucault, especially in his classic work “Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1975)”. Garda guards and protects, while Police controls and punishes.

We hope youse can enjoy this story. Remember: if you ever need to contact the Garda, you have to call 999. Below you can watch a video with the exact pronunciation of Garda so as not to make mistakes anymore. See you another time.

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