Garda Sources Say [Updated]


From top: Masked gardai at North Frederick Street on Tuesday night; Garda Commissioner Drew Harris

The use of hoods by gardaí attending a protest on North Frederick Street in Dublin earlier this week was not correct, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has said.

In a statement, Mr Harris said the use of fire retardant hoods by public order officers is a matter for the operational commander on the scene.

However, he said the form of dress used by gardaí at the “event was not correct as it is policy that if it deemed necessary to use the hood then it should be used in tandem with a protective helmet“.

” The people who had occupied the building left the building peacefully in accordance with the High Court order. Subsequent to this, a small crowd failed to leave the area despite repeated warnings from An Garda Síochána under the Public Order Act and five people were arrested.”

….The newly appointed commissioner also said he has requested a report from Patrick Leahy, the Assistant Commissioner for the Dublin Metropolitan Region, “to see what lessons can be learnt from the event.

Harris says use of hoods by gardaí ‘was not correct’ (RTÉ)


“I think like a lot of people, I didn’t like to see a private security firm in balaclavas, that’s the kind of image that anybody doesn’t want to see on their TV screens.

However, when it comes to gardai, they were wearing hoods in one and ski masks in the other. They are wearing hoods in case there is a risk of fire or something being thrown at them and they wear the ski masks in some cases to protect their identities.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar this afternoon.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar hits out at balaclava wearing ‘heavies’ from Dublin housing protest (Irish Mirror)

Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews


From top: protest on North fFederick Street, Dublin last night; This morning’s Irish Times

On Tuesday late afternoon, “a private firm acting for the owner of the premises” supported by gardai forced their way into 34 North Frederick Street, Dublin 1,  vacant for three years, using an angle grinder and a sledgehammer.

Five people were arrested and at least one person was hospitalised during the removal in which some gardai used batons.

Claims made by Take Back the City, the Irish Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International Ireland concerning the tactics used and the ‘frightening’ optics were this morning refuted by Garda sources, according to the Irish Times.

Via Conor Lally the paper’s security and crime editor:

Garda sources have disputed much of what the group has claimed. They say the incident was not an eviction, pointing out those in the building were occupying it as a protest action for weeks, had never lived there and had no substantive link to it.

So. Not an eviction.

They further point out the building was office space before it became vacant some years ago and has not been a residence for many years.

OK. Not even a house.

The protesters had been ordered by the High Court to leave the building by August 28th and had declined to do so.

Justifying the masked men?

A number of men wearing balaclavas, who were acting for the landlord, used power tools to gain access on Tuesday evening to remove the small number of protesters still left inside.

And who were they?

The men wearing the balaclavas were not working for a security company. Instead, they work for a company specialising in taking possession of assets, usually when a dispute of ownership has arisen.


It may seem like a subtle distinction but it means they contravened no laws in declining to identify themselves to the protesters. And that means the Garda was not supporting an illegal action, as has been claimed.

And the gardai wearing balaclavas?

The balaclavas worn by the public order gardaí are part of the Garda “tactical” uniform and they are a safety item; to protect from corrosive liquids and burns.

Ah now.

However, Garda sources said few gardaí deployed to police an event that they suspect will be dubbed an “eviction” would want to be photographed or videoed at it.

They wear them to events they suspect may be called something else by somebody?

And because of the stigma involved, and because they cannot choose their tasks, gardaí will often wear their balaclavas to conceal their identities.

To recap: not an eviction, not a house, not a security company and not balaclavas but identity-concealing safety masks.

Nothing to see here.

Move along, folks.

Claim and counterclaim over end of Dublin ‘occupation’ (Conor Lally, Irish Times)

Last night: Not Backing Down

Previously: The Irish Times Says Sorry To Maurice McCabe

Maurice McCabe And The irish Times Part 1 and Part 2


Go about your business.

Please, folks.

141 thoughts on “Garda Sources Say [Updated]

  1. small ads

    “The Garda Síochána will succeed not by force of arms or numbers, but by their moral authority as servants of the people.”

  2. rotide

    “And because of the stigma involved, and because they cannot choose their tasks, gardaí will often wear their balaclavas to conceal their identities.”

    Given the invective around this event, I don’t blame them

    1. Rep

      I agree with it tbf. I wouldn’t want my face plastered all over the front page of the papers because of this shambles.

    2. Hansel

      I am kind of against the idea of Gardai wearing masks….

      But simultaneously am intrigued by how this then crosses over to Burka’s….cos I’d probably defend their right to wear them. Interesting!

  3. Grouse

    I sympathise with the plight of Gardaí being duty bound to perform very unpopular (some might argue immoral) tasks by the law of the land. But you can’t have the police wearing balaclavas in their interactions with the public. Especially in Ireland. You just can’t.

    1. rotide

      This wasn’t exactly a casual interaction with the public though, they werent just lads on patrol. They were sent to a situation which they fully expected to turn violent and they knew would be controversial. It’s like saying that a drugs bust or a morning raid is an interaction with the public.

    2. broadbag

      You really can. They did it. It’s fine. Special arms unit or whatever they’re called do it all the time, no problem.

  4. scundered

    The Gardai exist to uphold the law, and that is exactly what they are doing, why not campaign to shake up the laws that have resulted in our housing crisis. Get to the source, not the symptoms.

    1. edalicious


      People seem to be too focused on the optics here and getting a bit distracted from the underlying cause. Civil disobedience is absolutely a viable form of protest but people seem to have forgotten that they are, by design, partaking in illegal activities to highlight the issue.

    2. CoderNerd

      It’s the manner in which they uphold the law. Insulting the public.
      Just look at their stance in most public interactions – arms crossed and sneering, refusing to acknowledge the person talking to them.

      The GRA statement released was contemptuous. A garda press release stated that they were satisfied the clapped out van at the scene of the eviction was taxed and that one of their members was subjected to racial abuse.
      The judge at the Jobstown trial directed the jury to disregard the evidence of over 100 gardai. A senior garda signed an affidavit full of lies concerning Maurice McCabe. Over 1 million false breath tests..

      I’d like to see some evidence of these garda claims made because after all the recent and historical scandal, their word is muck.

      1. Giggidygoo

        No. An identification number is written on garda clothing. So you don’t get to know their identities. Unless one of them actually kills a member of the public.

    1. Johnny Keenan

      Will be concealing their identities when they go around collecting their rent or their own property interest. I hope they do it on their own time at least.

  5. broadbag

    ‘Frightening optics’ *clutches pearls* not as frightening the Leo masks! But seriously, people need to get a grip. Where’s the footage of the person getting kicked in the head? Funny how no-one captured that on camera…

      1. broadbag

        Actions have consequences. People photographing cops and harassing them and their families on social media led to the balaclavas, maybe direct your ire at them instead?

    1. Joxer

      dig out the footage used on six one last night (i cant get to YT in office) and you can see towards the end a civilian being assaulted and being moved behind a cop van by two guards. certainly when i saw it my impression was it was that lad that was hospitalised

  6. kellMA

    I thought I saw their Garda nos on their shoulders in a few of the photos? This should be enough to ID them if needs be. If a garda feels that they (and their family) could be compromised if their identity is revealed, then so what if they want to cover their face (especially if their id no is visible). The fact is that Gardai are often threatened. It comes with having to deal with the less mannerly elements of society at times. I am good with them trying to avoid that. Sometimes people on crusades can get a bit carried away with themselves. It happens.

  7. edalicious

    Bodger, have you anything more substantive than sarky, puerile sniping to counter what was said in the article?

    1. Bodger

      I found it difficult to read without laughing, parts of it made me feel embarrassed and I felt it lacked credibility owing to the unreliability of Mr Lally’s previous Garda sources revealed during the Disclosures Tribunal.

      1. rotide

        I think the point Ed is making is that you provided nothing whatsoever to contradict any of the statement apart from ‘OH GOOD ONE LOL’

        Speaking of credibility, When will you be revealing the big news regarding pizzagate?

        1. Boj

          Can you not get the obvious stench of bullpoo off this statement? The subtle language, the weasel-wording. It’s like declaring that telling a lie is actually just ‘revising your opinion’…(I thank RobG for that clanger!) ;-)

          1. rotide

            I get the obvious stench of balance from it. This is one article out of 5 on the Times website that I can see. All of the others that I read were either sympathetic or pro -protestors. It’s what people in the MSM call ‘balance’ and ‘reporting’

          2. millie st murderlark

            I didn’t get much of a sense of balance from it myself. it felt very one-sided, and I’d even go so far as to say, slightly defensive – which is fair enough, I suppose, as they are absolutely entitled to defend their position.

    2. George

      The man has medical reports saying he was treated for concussion. Concussion arises due to a blow to the head. How does that happen during a “peaceful” operation. The Gardaí are not addressing this. They also have not addressed the legality of the vehicle used.

      They have also said that “The Garda’s only role in the proceedings was to prevent a breach of the peace.” So if it wasn’t the gardaí who removed the people what basis did these unidentified people have for their use of violence.

      1. rotide

        George, Do you know HOW the blow to the head occured? Do you know the specifics of who did what?

        No, I didn’t think so.

          1. Cian

            I have no idea how the concussion happened.
            One possibility is that he was struck by someone.
            Another possibility is that he was knocked/fell against something.

            Just because he has concussion doesn’t mean that somebody hit him.

    3. Frilly Keane

      Well actually Bodger’s presentation above is right and what that Statement deserves

      The Garda spin that it was former Office Space
      And not an idle Residential property
      Needed to be punctured

      Balaclavas on an Irish street
      Any street
      Regardless of the wearer’s function or reasons
      Is IMO
      A catastrophic event

      And should be immediately outlawed
      And apologies sweating out’ve them
      If those Garda felt the need to protect themselves from getting sprayed or whatever
      They’re already well suited n’ booted with safety helmets and protective eyewear and stab vests n’ the like

      As for the firm that specialises in securing assets
      I understand there is a need for that type enterprise
      However their practices and uniform needs to be acted on immediately
      They put their employees and the public-at-large at risk
      So a Code of Conduct is the very least a High Court order is entitled to for it to be executed in a transparent and safe and legal manner.

      But dats’ just me

      1. rotide

        “Balaclavas on an Irish street
        Any street
        Regardless of the wearer’s function or reasons

        Is IMO
        A catastrophic event”

        This will come as a blow to skiers and people who are generally cold in winter. Is it just balaclavas that should be banned at all times? How about Burkas? Or Motorcycle helmets?
        You can’t make blanket hyperbolic statements like this.

        1. Frilly Keane

          are they places of work?

          are they their workplace uniforms? Like working on behalf of a Court Order?

          I’ll give ya the motorcycle helmet thing, sure
          but I don’t know any premises that doesn’t insist motorbike riders remove their helmets
          an’ I betcha that office building did too one-time

          I can make what statements I like bhoy
          like this one

          Rotide must be running on empty everyone
          resorting to using ski gear to act as ballast against black bomber jackets forming a barricade on a dry stone surface
          or girls wearing burkas because its their job

          terrible pity all the same
          he was a handy enough marker one time

          1. rotide

            You didn’t mention anything about work, you said ‘Regardless of the wearer’s function or reasons”. That’s what I was reacting to.

            I’m with you on the security company wearing balaclavas. Clearly that’s hard to swallow. But the reaction in the main (and it includes yours) has been about what the guards were wearing and as I said above, I don’t blame them.

          2. Frilly Keane

            Well if we want to agree that the Gaurds felt the need to secure their identities
            we are all going ta’ have ta accept that the Guards should’ve insisted the private enforcement crew remove their balaclavas, that’s for starters

            They should have ensured the occupants of the building were safe, and protected from any harm from enforcers wearing balaclavas
            They should also have seized that van

            like if we’re going to be all about law n’ order
            public safety n’ protecting the security of the State
            and respecting the Justice system
            then be all of that
            and not selective
            or influenced by market forces, spin and polling results

          3. Giggidygoo

            How will the gardai be able to tell the difference between these balaclava -clad thugs, and the lads in the Kinehan feud? Protect one lot, and shoot the other?

          4. rotide

            What legal grounds did the guards have to insist the security company removed the balaclavas?

            Not saying that they can’t , just that I have no idea. Im pretty sure you don’t know either.

          5. Frilly Keane

            well Rottie

            dere’s way more smarter than me around here that’ll answer that,
            LCD for example
            and loads of lads too
            who ya know
            get the cock fight is always right handicap

            but lets try this one
            if the Gardai witnessed an assault on one of those occupiers
            how could they identify the assailant?

            sum’ting else
            did they check the IDs of these Private Enforcers before they were deployed to stand in front of them
            like, confirm their ID matched the lad in front of them before they let them put on a balaclava
            did they make sure there weren’t any outstanding warrants tickets wha’ have ya
            did they check they weren’t a Person of Interest
            or the other one Known to Gardai

            now if you want ta see a picture of my t1ts gimme your email there
            cause you’re determined to climb up on ’em
            so you might as well see what you’re attempting

  8. Stan

    This has totally worked in favour of TBTC – relatively sympathetic stories in the Times/ Indo/ Examiner this morning, echoing the disquiet over the Garda tactics. Housing is moving to the top of the agenda and FF will be forced to ensure there is something in the budget for them in order to avoid a flanking movement from SF. So this kind of thing works, as we saw with the water protests.
    Next step? For the local elections next year, a broad alliance across the left parties, including the Greens and SDs if they’re minded, to take control of the Dublin local authorities on a single issue platform – housing justice.

  9. Ollie Cromwell

    I have no problem with the police concealing their faces at events such as this – if they were wearing helmets with visors it would be much the same thing.
    But equally a form of easy identification such as large numbers on their uniforms in the event of something going wrong is vital.
    Civil disobedience is fine but it does come with the risk of injury if you resist arrest.
    I know – I took part in the famous Champagne Riots in London a few years back when a blight of the Reims vineyards sent the price of champagne out of the reach of many ordinary consumers.
    Sneering Tactical Support Group riot cops were waving bottles of cava and prosecco in our faces trying to taunt us into action.
    We resisted their provocation and retired for a late supper at Kettners but others weren’t so patient and were arrested for throwing melted halloumi cheese and avocado wraps at them.

      1. millie st murderlark

        I took notes. You can test us on it later then.

        I fully anticipate that I’ll be a spectacular failure.

    1. George

      They weren’t resisting arrest. They claim there injuries were caused inside the building and the Gardaí claim they were not involved in this.

      1. Ollie Cromwell

        Okay,so they were resisting a polite request for them to end their illegal occupation of a private property.
        They were probably demanding more time to dismantle their hydroponic growbag.
        I’d say Swampy soon packed his bag after a tap on the noggin.

          1. Frilly Keane

            ah shur’
            ya know me

            ticking along

            I’ll try n’ nip over t’ yer local later
            but ya know
            busy here
            n’ there

            tis all happening
            Rent Freezes
            Bake Off
            Cork playing again on Sunday

            I barely have time t’ change me drawers

          2. Ollie Cromwell

            You’re very brave anyway.
            The usual suspects on here are organising a let’s ignore Olly dirty protest ‘cos fings ain’t wot they used to be on BS.
            Instead of posting their ordure on here they’ll be smearing it all over the walls of BS Towers.
            Next will come a Maggie-style demand of Bodger that he denies Ollie the oxygen of publicity.
            My words will have to be written by an actor approved by a meeting of the politburo.
            In a safe space,obviously.

          3. Frilly Keane

            ah I dunno bhoy

            tis all getting a bit too close t’home for me lately
            I don’t might the argy bargey
            and the bloggarding

            tis the threatening emails
            the gang raids on twitter
            the tripe that loads around here know is tripe
            yet let it sit without challenge or confirmation

            this facebook twitter insta environment has make ’em all lazy and ultimately
            and shur where’s the craic in all that

            what would Kenny say huh?

          4. bisted

            …not surprised at the boycott Ollie…personnaly, I think you’ve gone too far this time…20 quid would buy you a very nice vintage Cava but you’d be hard pushed to buy even to buy the cheapest, nastiest NV Champagne for that price…

          5. jusayinlike

            rotide has no friends, neither does charger so it makes sense that they hang out, bit like the DUP and Israel..

          6. Ollie Cromwell

            #TeamOllie I like.
            I can see the demo now.
            ” What do we want ? ”
            ” Good quality non-Premier Cru champagne at a reasonable price ”
            ” When do we want it ? ”
            ” Now,or certainly in time for a dinner party I’m planning for the weekend “

          7. Papi

            Charger is actually feeling the pressure after a few days. Wow, thin skinned little chap, despite his bilious nature.

  10. Giggidygoo

    So which company is it that specializes in retaking assets by driving around Ireland in an untaxed english registered, out of MOT van that is immune from as simple a thing as the road traffic act? And on top of that, the Gardai are directed not to stop nor question them. Comes right from the top. Clap clap Drew Harris. Clap clap Right Charlie Flanagan. Clap clap Varadkar.
    McGreal – or, the attempted disguising of the name by using Ni Greil – sounds like a property developer. (?)

    1. Freedom

      For once your fevered speculation might actually have some merit. Though your Drew Harris stuff is the usual off the wall nutbaggery.

      A UK based company is allowed to own a registered vehicle and employees can operate it in Ireland without a valid Irish tax disc being displayed, the Garda has no jurisdiction to seize such a vehicle as far as I am aware. Thanks

      1. George

        “You are required to stop your vehicle and allow it to be examined if requested by an Officer of the Revenue Commissioners or An Garda Síochána. You must co-operate in answering questions for the purpose of verifying your status and produce on request all documents relating to the bringing into the State, ownership and registration of the vehicle.”

        Also they definitely do require a number plate and the Gardaí can prevent them from driving without one.

      2. SOQ

        Your vehicle must be road worthy and insured no matter what jurisdiction it is from. If this vehicle did not have an MOT cert then the insurance was void, all of which is a prosecutable offence.

      3. Martco

        so Drew Harris had no knowledge or involvement atall atall, below his pay grade so to speak? and Flanagan?

        sorry but I can’t buy that

        If anything I believe there’s more of this to come. I would also speculate this repossession heavies/gang tactic has already been happening around the country (just not as highly publicised/they weren’t caught at it yet in an urban context) read any of the farming publications you’ll see plenty of turmoil around forced repossessions of farms.

        I expect to see more of it, slowly being normalized, like all the other things you’ve seen attempted to date from the Tory playbook.

        1. jusayinlike

          Drew MI5 Harris and his UK rabble and meat wagon..

          Is he still establishing what resources he has available to him..?

      4. Giggidygoo

        I am eternally grateful to have been endowed with your part agreement. However the only nutjobs are those who saw fit to appoint the likes of Drew Harris to this position.

    2. Stan

      Vehicles in the UK no longer display tax, insurance or MOT discs as there is a centralised and automated number plate recognition system that all police forces – and local authority traffic control people? – here in the UK use. So not having anything in the windscreen doesn’t mean the vehicle isn’t taxed or insured. And you can drive a UK registered vehicle in Ireland for up to 6 months (I think) without needing to ‘import’ it.

          1. Ollie Cromwell

            Trusted trader system.
            Anything else looking suspicious gets pulled over – as it does now by police on both sides of the border.

          2. Martco

            sure, so that takes care of a couple of thousand subjects. now, what about the other couple of million, what happens with them?

            (btw if you have a workable answer don’t be wasting time replying to me, contact Dragons Den (the proper one) asap as I’m certain you’d have more than a couple of dragons on board,
            Peter deffo)

          3. martco

            yeah, exactly

            “a design challenge”

            one of the default lines on any given BS bingo card you’ll find in every senior management team meeting across the western world

            anyway, nice chatting, I’m away now for a spot of blue sky thinking ;)

      1. Giggidygoo

        So, now that it has been established that this van has been used on the road since the MOT and tax expired, will the UK authorities take any action? Maybe Drew has some mates he can report it to?

        1. SOQ

          The vehicle may not have been on UK roads so of no interest to the UK authorities. But, if it is been driven on Irish roads without being MOT certified then the guards will impound and prosecute, just like any other vehicle without NCT. Then there is the customs angle. If it has been in Ireland since the MOT ran out, why was it not imported?

          All assuming it is the same vehicle of course.

  11. BS

    I dont have a huge problem with the Garda public order unit wearing balaclavas, it is partly a safety issue and partly to protect their identity, no one should be subject to harassment because of their job.

    However….Private citizens, who may or may not be from another country (technically) and may not be irish citizens (technically) should not be allowed to a) drive on a public road in a vehicle that has no license plate, no tax, no certificate of road worthiness, possibly no insurance and b) carry out the orders of a court order.

    If a court order is ignored it is the place of the Sherriff or his appointed agents (a licesned bailliff company) who are required to show the court order, and identify themselves. maybe LCD can weigh in on this?

    It appears that the owner of this property got a court order against the people occupying it, hired some lads, told them to jump in a van, mask up and drive down to dublin to get these people out, and somehow the Gardai provided security for this. no matter what you think about the rights and wrongs of occupying the house, or defying a court order, this is a huge deal. the gardai need to come out with an exact account of how they were asked to be involved here, and who the men sent to the house were.

    1. jusayinlike

      +1, definitely not standard procedure, and most likely to send a message, hopefully the socialists ignore it and occupy another needlessly vacant property..

  12. JunkFace

    Balaclavas will always be associated with Terrorism and thugs in Ireland. To say that the Gards approach to this event was tone deaf is an understatement. What were they thinking? Especially because there were non Garda personnel behind them in balaclavas. Its not how you deal with the general public at evictions.

    1. Bruce_Wee

      Exactly…By backing them you are complicit to their actions. Mad stuff…and given the hammering the guards have taken recently between penalty points to fake breath test numbers, you would think they mightn’t wade in on topic of eviction. The true reason they hide their faces is due to the back lash they could receive in being associated with the act itself. People talking about the Van and no Tax etc isn’t completely irrelevant to the conversation but is a small thing which adds nothing of real value to the conversation. The Guards have made a bad decision on this one and know it given the coverage in the press which is leaning towards the protesters.

  13. Adam Reynolds

    There was a High Court order directing the occupants to leave the building. They refused to do that. In these circumstances, who is legally authorised to use force to carry out that order? I would have thought it could only be the Gardai or maybe the Sheriff. This suggests that the owner of a property, having a vacation order in their favour, can legally assault* the property’s occupants to effect that ruling, even in the absence of any threat to the owner’s safety. Is that true?

    *I’m assuming the people in the building were at least pushed about a bit by the guys working for the owner.

    1. BS

      As far as i know, having had only one court order for costs against someone issued to me, it is the Sheriff, or someone he appoints, who i presume must be a licensed company (but nothing would surprise me these days) who can lawfully carry out the directions of the court. I’m sure the Gardai can too.

      If anyone can, then who is up for loading up a van and going around picking up bench warrents and housing evictions Dog the Bounty hunter style? We’ll wear cool shades and balaclavas and be above the law

    2. ivan

      I’m not so sure they can, Adam; let’s take a crazy extreme example and assume one of the ‘civilian’ agents of the landlord rocks into the building and he’s got a baseball bat. There’s a protester in situ; the lad with the bat doesn’t have the right to give him a few pucks with the bat because (for want of a better term) he’s not trained. There’d be nothing to stop him beating yer man to a pulp, or at the very least inflicting injuries that were disproportionate to the wrong being committed by the protester. In other words, you might well say a protester ‘deserves’, say, a split lip and a bruised arm but probably doesn’t deserve to be in a wheelchair the rest of his life and have his food through a straw.

      So for that reason, it’s not generally left to civilians to do this sort of thing. Rather like a bouncer gets into a sod of a lot of trouble for leathering somebody outside a club for giving him lip.

      1. Freedom

        In theory the guards will say they were there to mitigate the chance of a civil assault happening

        But afaik you can use reasonable force to evict any trespasser from private property- the question is what’s proportionate in the circumstances

        I don’t think these thugs were too worried about this stuff of course – but – We were not there

  14. Just Visiting

    I see the usual suspects on here who have previously complained bitterly about women of a certain religion wearing burqas now think it’s perfectly acceptable for public servants to cover their faces while performing their duties.

  15. Daisy Chainsaw

    All I’m short of is a “Just following orders.” statement and I’ll have a full house on Bullpoo Bingo.

  16. Catherine costelloe

    The images of small children having to sleep at a garda station last month disgusted and angered many. So did the appointment of Commissioner Harris .
    So using a rust covered jalopy white van with n.I. number plates wasn’t the brightest of ideas and balaclavas clad men jumping from it was only adding fuel to the fire.

  17. Ollie Cromwell

    What happens if an Irish policewoman who is Muslim decides to wear a Burka to work.
    Would it be acceptable to the ‘flakes on here that she be allowed to cover her face.
    Or like the balaclava-wearing plod is that bad ?

    1. Ollie Cromwell

      What happens if an Irish policewoman who is Muslim decides to wear a Burkha to work.
      Would it be acceptable to the ‘flakes on here that she be allowed to cover her face.
      Or like the balaclava-wearing plod is that bad ?

      1. scottser

        there are no plans to review the uniform here, so a burka wouldn’t be provided. but in scotland the hijab has been an optional part of the uniform for the past few years.

      2. Dub Spot

        “What happens if an Irish policewoman who is Muslim decides to wear a Burkha to work.”

        Why don’t you tell us, BloJo? I’m sure the Met has policies you’d be well up on.

  18. phil

    I wonder will he ask the GRA to disband or at least seek approval from the commissioner before making statements ?

  19. SOQ

    Leo says it was ok for the guards but not the goons so. This was a group of political activists ffs. There was never going to be violence because apart from anything else, violence would have defeated the whole purpose.

    What about the dodgy van Leo?

    1. martco


      grand statement, really what else was he going to say, the heats on after all but it’s all a bit ‘look at the birdys look at the birdys’


  20. Dub Spot

    Gardai wearing burqas. An Post closing rural Post Offices. That Boris Johnson has a lot to answer for.

    I know which letter box to stick my letter of complaint in now.

    Any chance they can wear the balaclavas in Coppers? Nurses and teachers can be choosy…

  21. SOQ

    Drew Harris sez hoods in da hood is not a good look, which is fair enough. Certainly better than the bullpoo from GRA. Although I wonder if he was really speaking about the guards as hoods is northern speak for paramilitary thugs.

    So now to the ‘hoods’. Someone must know who they are. Someone must have seen that van somewhere before this. Facebook search ongoing I expect. If they are of the ‘green’ then pretty sure they’ll not be doing it again and if they of the ‘orange’, well…. that opens up a new can of worms entirely.

    Either way, if you or I were hammering around in a very illegal and downright dangerous vehicle, the last thing you would be doing is delivering a court order where cameras are guaranteed while being protected by the guards.

    1. martco

      we’d assume the Gardai know who owns the van
      now lets even give them the benefit of the doubt on the current whereabouts of the van in question – if obliged to do so e.g. there was claims that it had served some part in a crime committed like a hit and run the Gardai would normally be expected to make substantial progress on locating said van inside the next 24 hours – sure there’s CCTV along every major route and most minor ones in and out of Dublin, tracing a distinctive van like this is easy

      fact is the Gardai don’t want to talk about the van. they don’t want us to know who owns it & I’m sure they (and DEFINITELY the Govt) would rather we just forgot the whole sordid thing. but I’m hopeful that won’t happen, they must be pressed on this…and the positive side is this may well become a pivotal event.

      it will be also be interesting to see what this protest group does next – hopefully next time they are well cammed up & livestreaming, I’m surprised they weren’t but suppose they just didn’t expect to get hit in this manner…such an overreaction

      1. SOQ

        But it did serve in committing a crime. The very fact of it being driven on a public road WAS a crime and imo a serious one.

        I have a personal bone to pick on this one. Some years ago I was knocked down by a cowboy in a similar, no tax, no NCT and no insurance. One of the brakes failed and the van swung around sideways. It knocked me off pavement and my head rapped off a broken kerb stone. In fairness to the guards they nailed him because he lost his license and was fined but the compensation I received was long coming and nowhere near what it should have been.

        MOT/NCT are there for a reason, to ensure the vehicle is safe to drive. The fact of knowingly breaking the law while also performing a court’s legal duty raises serious questions as to what sort of individuals are being employed. Surely there must be some sort of register of people who can do this type of work? Surely they must have some sort of training beforehand?

  22. CoderNerd


    So much has been written and posted about the North Frederick Street protest and the now infamous ex-Greater Manchester Police van (GMP) that carried the Northern eviction team to Dublin City Centre to carry out an equally infamous audacious act, one that has gained such notoriety that it was surprisingly even mentioned by mainstream media – albeit through gritted teeth in some sections of the Dennis O’Brien led media.

    So the question is: Have we been lied to by the Gardaí as to whether the vehicle was road legal i.e. taxed, insured and MOT’d? The plain answer is yes, we have!


    In my journalistic capacity I contacted the DVLA in Swansea today and enquired with them as to whether there was any record of a vehicle with a registration plate bearing the number MX 06 WGA and the answer came back as – Yes there is!

    -I then enquired if this vehicle had been or is currently taxed according to their records and the answer came back as – “No it isn’t, not since 2014!” –

    -I then also enquired if this vehicle was insured according to their records and the answer came back as – “No it isn’t!”

    -I then further enquired if this vehicle had a current MOT and the answer came back as –” No it doesn’t!”

    -I made further enquiries with another department and checked to see if the vehicle is still owned and registered to the Greater Manchester Police force and the answer came back as – “ No, it was sold at auction in Manchester and there is no updated records since the sale, sir!”

    “The Mercedes Sprinter van had been used by our police in the Clayton Brook area which is north of Manchester and was effectively scrapped due to its age and condition. Have you seen it in use on a public road, sir?”

    But just to make sure, I then had a look at the checkable public information that is available on the DVLA website and obtained exactly the same information, as seen in the screen shots that I took from the site.


    According to An Garda Siochana and I quote; “It is also understood that the absence of a registration plate on the van they used was a security measure to ensure that identifying factors were not present on the vehicle.” Unquote.

    So let’s forget about the HUGE Greater Manchester police chevrons emblazoned across the whole of one side of the van as well as the rear plate with the laughingly more than obvious MX06 WGA registration that negated the incredibly ridiculous statement put forward as the reason for the missing front registration plate.

    The lesson here being to treat everything that comes out of a Garda press release or press statement with a huge pinch of salt when it comes to telling porkies about those that it really wants to protect as against those whom it is obliged to protect – Its own citizens!”


  23. Stan

    Two cheers for Harris saying something I never remember a previous Garda Commissioner ever saying – that something the GS did was wrong.
    BTW (pedant alert): the GRA statement didn’t ‘refute’ anything: it may have attempted to do so, but when something is refuted it stays refuted. At best they ‘contested’ or ‘disputed’ the TBTC version of events.

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