Tag Archives: Drew Harris

From top: 34 Frederick Street North, Dublin last night; Garda Commissioner Drew Harris

This afternoon.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties has released a statement in regards to the removal of housing activists from 34 Frederick Street North, Dublin 1 last night – which the group says involved “over disproportionate and unaccountable tactics”.

They write:

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) is today demanding answers from An Garda Síochána over the tactics used during an eviction of housing rights activists from a building at North Frederick Street in Dublin’s North Inner City last night.

ICCL is calling for a swift public report from the Garda Commissioner regarding the Gardaí’s decision-making in advance of last night’s operation, and the reasons for and circumstances of the arrests and alleged injuries sustained by protesters.

Liam Herrick, Executive Director of the ICCL said:

ICCL has been highlighting the lack of transparency regarding the Gardaí’s policies and tactics in the areas of protest policing and use of force. We are calling on the Garda Commissioner to provide answers about what decisions were taken in advance of, and during, last night’s operation.

We want to know: what was the legal basis for the Garda operation? Was it on request of the owner? What are the protocols for such requests? Was there engagement with the occupiers in advance of the Garda operation? What consideration was there of the need to use minimal force? What was the basis for the arrests?

ICCL demands answers from Gardaí over disproportionate and unaccountable tactics used at North Frederick Street eviction (Irish Council for Civil Liberties)


“What we have seen raises concerns about possible excessive and unnecessary use of force against what appear to be largely peaceful protestors. Whenever the lawful use of force by An Garda Síochána is unavoidable, it must be used with restraint and in proportion to the seriousness of the law enforcement objective.

Gardaí should only facilitate and support the actions of private security personnel where they are lawful and do not involve excessive force. In this regard, it is of concern that the private security personnel reportedly failed to display identity badges, as required under section 30 of the Private Security Services Act.

We urge that these events be investigated as a matter of urgency to ascertain if human rights abuses were committed, and if so, ensure appropriate action.”

Fiona Crowley, Research and Legal Manager for Amnesty International Ireland this afternoon.

Earlier: Second-Hand Import?

How Can You Justify These Actions?

Yesterday: What’s Going On Here?

Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews

This afternoon.

Templemore, County Tipperary.

Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan with new Garda Commissioner Drew Harris at Mr Harris’ first garda graduation ceremony since his appointment, at the Garda College.

Via Independent.ie:

Mr Harris explained what he meant by “operationally honest”.

He said the gardai must act in the best interests of the public, be upfront with people and treat everyone they met with respect, dignity and empathy.

“We will ensure that this happens internally as well. We must respect and listen to our people.

Any ideas of on how we can improve, regardless of where they come from, should always be welcomed.

“Similarly, we will be more receptive to constructive criticism, whether it comes from inside or outside the organisation”, Mr Harris added.

New Garda Commissioner tells 185 fresh recruits they must ‘be honest (Indpendent.ie)

Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews



This morning.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris held his first press conference at Garda HQ in Phoenix Park where he outlined his vision for the gardai.

During the press conference, Mr Harris told RTÉ’s Crime Correspondent Paul Reynolds that he wouldn’t be afraid to speak truth to power.

This will end well.


Yesterday: A Minute Past Midnight

Pics: Cate McCurry and Leah Farrell/Rollingnews

New Garda Commissioner Drew Harris earlier this morning;  Josephine Feehily, chairwoman of the Policing Authority.

This morning.

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

RTÉ’s crime correspondent Paul Reynolds interviewed chair of the Policing Authority Josephine Feehily, following the swearing in of the new Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.

During the interview, Mr Reynolds raised Mr Harris’s evidence to the Smithwick Tribunal in 2012.

Judge Smithwick ultimately found there was collusion between members of the gardaí and the IRA in the murders of two senior RUC officers – Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan – on March 20, 1989 and that gardaí in Dundalk were most likely involved.

Mr Harris’s evidence was given to the tribunal in private but it was later read into evidence.

From this morning’s interview…

Paul Reynolds: “Well, what about the concerns in relation to Dundalk, in particular, whereby the evidence that he gave at the Smithwick Tribunal, in relation to Garda collusion. On the one hand, he has given evidence that the gardai colluded with the murders of two senior police officers and, on the other hand, he’s the head of this force.”

Josephine Feehily: “Judge Smithick made the conclusions in that tribunal and I’m not going to go beyond those. He heard all of the evidence, he took account of all of the aspects that he wanted to take and he reached a conclusion. And, again, that seems to be something that’s overlooked in the conversation. It was a judge-led tribunal and the judge drew the conclusion.”

Reynolds: “That’s true but it wasn’t accepted by the Garda Commissioner at the time and it hasn’t been accepted by many gardai today. It remains a sore point in Dundalk and now we have the man who gave that evidence at the top of the Garda force.”

Feehily: “I’m satisfied to rest on Judge Smithick’s conclusions.”

Reynolds: “I accept that but do you see the difficulty?”

Feehily:I see that commentators are taking one particular aspect of policing and they are, before the commissioner has had an opportunity to address it, they’re drawing conclusions. What I’m saying is that the person who heard all of the evidence drew his conclusions, in accordance with his job and they stand.”

The Smithwick Tribunal report can be read here

Listen back in full here

Earlier: A Show Of Force

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Basically they are asking us to believe that in the course of a 30-year campaign the most sophisticated terrorist organisation in the world did not plant or acquire any agents in our security institutions, including the Defence Forces and the Garda.

Justice Peter Smithwick accepted Drew Harris’s evidence that he had intelligence pointing to collusion, not least because Garda intelligence confirmed it.

“I think it significant,” Smithwick concluded, “that both police services have received information from reliable sources indicating that there was collusion.”

Good enough for me.

Time for Leo Varadkar to take stock and make tough decisions (Eoghan Harris, Sunday Independent)


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (left) and new Garda Commissioner Drew Harris at Government Buildings his afternoon.

More as they get it.

Related: PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Drew Harris appointed Garda Commissioner (The Irish Times)

Related: Drew Harris As Garda Commissioner Is Gerry Adams’ Worst Nightmare (The Broken Elbow)

Pic: Belfast Newsletter


There you go.