Former District Court judge Michael Patwell was recently interviewed by Charlie Bird. He had some interesting things to say.
Around 1966, while working in Customs and on duty at Dublin airport, he confiscated a number of undeclared items he had discovered in the luggage of a well-known sports personality.
A week later he was removed from his nice clean job in the airport and found himself in a boiler suit searching ships on Dublin docks.
Shortly afterwards he was summoned to Dublin Castle where he was given a lecture, reminded that his period of probation was nearly up and had his file ‘reviewed’. He was informed that he could be a little bit over enthusiastic.
It was made clear to him that some people who leave Ireland who are not diplomats were to be treated as if they were diplomats on their return.
The Inspector General of Customs at the time had a son deeply involved in the same sport as the man who had his items confiscated.
About a week after his interview Patwell checked with his colleagues at the airport and was told the man in question had been given back all the items confiscated and no record had been made of the incident.
Disgusted by the whole affair Patwell left Customs and got himself a job as a court clerk.
Isn’t that a great little statement?
Some people who leave Ireland who are not diplomats were to be treated as if they were diplomats on their return.
It really sums up how our corrupt little republic is (mis) governed.
It tells us that even in the 1960s there was an untouchable golden circle that enjoyed massive benefits at everybody else’s expense.
And, of course, that golden circle has grown into a deadly, state-destroying monster in the intervening years.