I believe every 10 years or so the Metropolitan Police in London do an anti-corruption trawl through their ranks. Each time they do so they uncover hundreds of bent coppers - drugs, backhanders, convenient loss of case files, extortion, etc., etc.
To my knowledge in the whole history of this state there has been no similar systematic trawl through garda ranks (I may be wrong). If the current clutch of small minded self-serving gombeens who run this country want me to believe that significant numbers of garda are not up to every sort of racket and criminal thuggery, then I would have to ask them to excuse me before grabbing their florid, overfed faces and shoving them, sneer first, down the nearest toilet bowl.
Many cops own pubs i believe or have interests in them. Many cops, in my own personal experience, are sneering, aggressive, unhelpful and not a million miles away from the kind of thugs you imagine they are supposed to be there to protect you against. The Guards are, basically, out of control.
This is apart from any considerations of the need for the 'thin blue line' and doesn't, of course, relate to those who aren't bent or who have acted well. It is about that which is rotten in the guards in this state.