Sunday, 3 March 2013

James "Lugs" Brannigan

Jim Brannigan was a truly legendary Police Officer with the Garda in Dublin, and a man who was the nearest officer in the British Isles to a real "Robocop."  He was born in 1910, worked in engineering when leaving school and joined the Garda in 1931.  He had a keen interest in boxing, fighting all over Britain and the continent for the Garda.  At one tournament in Germany, amongst the audience was a number of top National Socialist Party members including Joseph Goebbels.  In 1937, Brannigan was heavyweight Champion of the Leinster area of the Republic of Ireland, and making a mark as a very tough cop.

    For decades, the ROI had as much violence as mainland Britain, but Brannigan met fire with fire..  He was never a bully and frequently stood up for the weak and intimidated.  Of course, these tactics would never have met approval these days, and indeed, the civil liberties and human rights scumbags would have been constantly screaming about how Brannigan did his job.  If you broke the law, he arrested you.  If you offered him violence, you got it back.  Many law-abiding people were glad he was on the streets, because he cared.  The whingers and apologists would only be crying about yobs, the thugs, the troublemakers, not the victims.  Brannigan re-addressed that concern.

    Brannigan over the years established a very tough reputation, and many a thug suddenly had a man in front of them they could not frighten.  In riots, Brannigan would walk into the centre of it, and slap his gloves loudly on a car.  As soon as the yobs heard it, saw who it was, they scattered in fear.  In big demonstrations, he would walk into the middle of a crowd of hundreds, and arrest the agitators.  He had no fear.  Another point in which he left a long lasting impression, was that as an unofficial marriage counsellor.  Dublin had an epidemic of wife battering, and persistent offenders received a visit from Brannigan.  He gave the man ONE warning. If he had to come back again, he was going to make the offender feel real pain!  Just before he retired, he was sent to a house where the husband was a huge, violent bully, who had his wife completely terrified.  When he opened the door to the loud knock, he thought it was the usual Garda who could not do anything because his wife was too frightened to make a complaint.  As soon as he saw it was Brannigan, the blood drained from his face and he fled out the back door with Brannigan in pursuit.  He caught him and this bully offered no resistance, with Brannigan marching him to the station and throwing him in a cell.  He put him in front of a magistrate the next morning.  He never had to visit that house again.

    Brannigan died in 1985 and his funeral was like a state funeral.  Many villains reputedly attended.  Brannigan achieved huge respect within the USA and the continent through his long association with amateur boxing, as a fighter and as a referee.  He also was sent to Bray,outside of Dublin, to help quell huge outbreaks of violence.  He became known as "The man who tamed Bray..."  After his funeral, one woman told how her husband had never hit her since 1959...... after a visit and stern talking to from Brannigan.  Today, the only way the yobs and thugs could deal with a man like Brannigan, would be to shoot him, and probably from behind, as they would not have had the guts to face him one on one in a fist fight.

    The information in this post came from author Bernard Neary, an expert on the life and career of Brannigan.