Police sirens and racing blue lights are an inevitable ubiquitous fixture inside of Dublin’s K district. The district is Ireland’s busiest policing district, encompassing the areas of Cobra, Finglas and Blanchardstown.
Virgin Media’s, The Guards: Inside the K, brings its audiences to the beat of the K.
The five-part docu-series developed and directed by Shauna Keogh apprehends the raw, unscripted emotions felt by Gardaí and residents alike within the parameters of the notorious K district. Whether that be of anger, frustration, or grief, the show hides nothing from the viewer.
This series makes for emotive viewing, and it shines a light on broader societal issues within our country.
The crew filming the series were given unrivalled access to everything from garda briefings, arrests, and encounters with the public. The fly-on-the-wall style documentary allows the audience to fully immerse itself into Garda life in the K district for an hour every Wednesday night.
The volatility of the area is also revealed, with garda chases and armed violence the norm for the area. All of this, however, is made worse by the young, unflinching foot soldiers of the criminal gangs that police the streets through intimidation.
The clenched fist of the criminal underworld that many living in the K are held by is laid bare throughout the series. Children as young as twelve are already being groomed by local drug gangs for a life of criminality, lured in with the promise of drugs and designer clothing. It makes for distressing viewing considering the vulnerability of those involved.
It’s no wonder that the show has become a hit with Irish audiences. Every night the programme has aired, #insidethek has been trending on Twitter. After years of issues and turbulence within An Garda Síochana, and a recent gangland feud that dominated national headlines for the past two years, it is perhaps clear as to why Irish audiences are attracted to The Guards: Inside the K.
However, if corrupt Gardaí and romanticized gangland figures are what you are hoping to get from this programme, then stop watching now. In its place, however, you will get something much better: a grounding reality of what life is like living and working inside Ireland’s busiest policing district.
We meet real people, with real issues and with no real answers as to how to solve them. The series deals with hard subjects and doesn’t shy away from the reality of what the Gardaí encounter in work every day, and what the residents of the communities of Cobra, Blanchardstown and Finglas endure daily.
The series concludes on Wednesday. April 8th. Catch up is available on Virgin Media.
Image Credit: Virgin Media One