Who Made The Call And Why?


From top: Frederick Street removal: Mick Wallace; Joan Collins; Claire Daly and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan in the Dáil today.

This afternoon.

In the Dáil.

Further to the eviction of housing activists from a vacant property at North Frederick Street last week…

Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan who authorised members of An Garda Síochána – who wore fire retardant hoods – to attend the eviction.

Joan Collins, also an Independents 4 Change TD, asked Mr Flanagan on what basis were the gardai asked to attend.

Ms Collins referred to the mater as “very, very sinister”.

Independents 4 Change TD Clare Daly then said:

I think we have to be very conscious that this incident has set back public confidence in An Garda Síochána considerably. That’s actually my starting point on this issue.

We have, at the backdrop, an unprecedented housing crisis. Where people are homeless, families are homeless. And that the Garda organisation, whose motto is supposed to be ‘to protect and serve’, rallies around to carry out an eviction – resonates really badly with the Irish public and you can call it politically with a small ‘p’.

It was lunacy whoever made the call.

“And, like Deputy Wallace, I don’t believe it was the Commissioner [Drew Harris].

“The minister says the gardai were only upholding the law. Well my neighbour’s house was broken into and they called the guards and they didn’t’ see one for love nor money. That’s their job, as well.

“They chose to take sides in this incident. There was no signal that they were going to be public order problems of the scale that merited masks and balaclavas and all this type of carry-on and palaver which was really intimidatory.

“And it does deserve an investigation. It particularly deserves and investigation, given that concrete evidence has been produced that shows that the security firm were breaching the law and yet the perception was that the gardai were there to protect them and not actually the public.”

Mr Flanagan, in his response, said:

“I would reiterate again, that the gardai present faced a most difficult task, managing protest, in enforcing the law. There was a matter of abuse, including racial abuse, online threats and intimidation, came to light at the weekend.

“Such threats are utterly unacceptable, rightly being investigated. Gardai work on our behalf. They need support from the public, not intimidation, not abuse. As I’ve said Commissioner Harris has made a statement in relation to the protest. I understand he’s requested a report from Assistant Commissioner DMR, to see what lessons can be learned from the event.

“I can assure the house my department continues to work closely with all stakeholders including An Garda Síochána, to further enhance the safety of the public at such events, while safeguarding the fundamental right of people to protest.

“Of course if people have concerns about the way the garda behave, which I’ve just heard, if people have those concerns, in relation to this or, indeed, any other matter, there are established procedures for pursuing such matters. Deputies are aware of the role of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission [GSOC] in this regard…”

Previously: What’s Going On Here?

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42 thoughts on “Who Made The Call And Why?

  1. Manta Rae

    “And that the Garda organisation, whose motto is supposed to be ‘to protect and serve’, rallies around two carry out an eviction…”

    If the Nordie commissioner reads this, he’ll sure to be sending his balaclava-clad guards straight round to BS towers and arrest ye all for crimes against his Queen’s English…..

    1. scottser

      Actually, the full motto is “Working with Communities to Protect and Serve”. Seems to me they were working with anyone but the community, and serving private interests not the public good.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      should know by now though that wallace, daly and collins don’t let go that easily, though

      only politicians respecting even notion of republic

  2. CoderNerd

    Completely sidestepping the issue there.
    Remember he jumped up in the Dail demanding the CC protect him from Alan Kelly, then the grovelling apology concerning the emails the justice dept never handed over?
    They should find a better justice minister.

  3. SOQ

    And the van minister, what about the van?

    It only had three wheels and two of them were flat. And it was running on green desiel, which was quite an achievement for a petrol engine. But all legal you say eh?

    May as well make a joke of it because that is exactly what the whole thing was.

      1. SOQ

        Tis my old mobile, it throws wobbles every now and again, a bit like the elusive jalopy everyone is looking for. Although it’s not likely to kill people, unless I throw it at them, which I have done, when channelling Naomi Campbell.

  4. b

    whatever about the question about who ordered the hoods to be worn, who in their right mind is questioning the presence of the gardai?

    it was an obvious potential for a public order flashpoint – there was a group publically stating that they are not going to obey a court order.

    1. BS

      there should have been a far more measured response by the Gardai, rocking up with lads in balaclavas wearing balaclavas themselves was setting the tone pretty early.

      I also saw in the video a Garda deploying pepper spray because someone wouldnt move in off the road. a completed and utter (and unlawful) over reaction. pepper spray is to be used as a last resort, after the baton if a Garda believes their safety or the safety of another person is in imminent danger

  5. Stan

    “There was a matter of abuse, including racial abuse, online threats and intimidation”
    The Gardai, the commish and now the minister have thrown this one about, and I have to say, I find it hard to believe that housing activists, routinely mocked as ‘social justice warriors’ would do this.

    1. anne

      Yeah I heard that.. The big bad internets at it again according to an old fart.

      You have unarmed citizens being ambushed by gardai in balaclavas – just keeping the peace.. balaclavas being all the rage with peace keeping exercises, & a private firm.. & he’s worried the Gardai’s feelings were hurt is it?

    2. Kdoc

      Wasn’t there a case a few years back of a Garda in Dun Laoghaire who alleged he sufferred racial abuse from his own colleagues?

  6. anne

    Charlie Flanagan was not impressive reading off his script. Claire on the other hand is naturally articulate.

    He seemed concerned about the Gardai getting abuse..yet when he’s asked who made the call & why so OTT he seemed to say that’s a matter for the Gardai.

    You can’t have it both ways as minister for justice.. say I know nothing, but then defend them that they got abuse. When advised by Claire Daly there were reports of Gardai abusing protesters, tge response was there’s mechanisms for complaints.. however he seemed aware of the Gardai’s complaints of abuse.

    This seems to be the latest tactic enployed by a few ministers though.. “nothing to do with me sorta thing”. Like wtf are we paying them for besides reading off of scripts?

    Minister for justice has nothing to do with law & order & justice. hmmm.

    1. SOQ

      I think that in the next government, Mary Lou should be the minster for justice. Cynicism, scrutiny and suspicion from top to bottom. It might work or at worst, the public would be assured that none of the previous nonsense was happening.

      1. ReproButina

        Taoiseach Mary Lou could appoint either Mick Wallace or Claire Byrne as Minister for Justice. That’d put the cat among the pigeons and no mistake.

  7. Truth in the News

    Oliver Jay’s rallying cry was “Here comes Flanagan there goes Flanagan” it might soon apply to
    the son Charlie,

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