Irish Independent journalist Paul Williams is an expert when reporting on crime.
He’s also a very courageous journalist, a man who has put his life on the line in his determination to expose those who operate in the murky criminal underworld.
It is clear, however, that when it comes to matters outside of his expertise Mr. Williams is either an uninformed novice or is a heavily biased journalist who writes with a particular agenda.
A recent article by him on the GSOC scandal makes the point.
Williams first claims that there was an unfair inference that ‘shadowy renegades’ within the Gardai were to blame.
Any informed, objective observer would immediately see that the Gardai, whether shadowy or official, were indeed the likely suspects.
It is standard police practice the world over to first focus on the most obvious suspects of a crime before considering other leads.
The Gardai are, without a shadow of doubt, the chief suspects in this case.
He next claims, and he clearly sees this as outrageous, that GSOCs decision not to alert Justice Minister Shatter of the bugging infers that they don’t trust him.
And that is effectively an insult to Shatter, who even his most vocal critics agree, is a man of unflinching integrity.
Objective journalists do not make such unambiguously supportive claims in favour of individuals, and particularly politicians, who are involved in serious controversy.
As for Shatter’s so-called integrity?
I don’t believe that a politician who effectively bullies a police officer when asked to provide a breath test is a man of integrity.
I don’t believe that a politician who attacks Garda whistleblowers who are courageously seeking justice and accountability is a man of integrity.
I don’t believe that a politician who uses confidential police information to attack a fellow politician is a man of integrity.
As part of his argument in support of the Gardai and Minister Williams quotes the Taoiseach’s (completely mistaken) claim that GSOC had a legal obligation to report the matter to the Justice Minister.
An objective journalist would have done his research by having a quick look at the easily accessible legislation.
Williams then goes on to claim that serious criminals and terrorists would be interested in bugging GSOC.
Not even the Garda Commissioner nor Shatter, both of whom are desperately struggling to put this scandal behind them, are prepared to make such a silly claim.
As I said at the beginning Mr. Williams seems to be either an uninformed novice or is heavily biased in favour of the Garda Commissioner and the Minister for Justice.
Given Mr. Williams’ long and close connections with the Gardai I suspect the latter is the case.