New Commissioner and Minister must explain Garda eviction tactics

Seán Sherlock TD
12 September 2018

Labour Justice spokesperson, Séan Sherlock TD, has called on the new Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris and the Minister for Justice to explain the heavy handed tactics used by An Garda Síochána alongside private security men in balaclavas in the eviction of protestors in Dublin last night.

Deputy Sherlock said:

“While we must respect court decisions, the tactics used in removing peaceful protesters who occupied a property on North Frederick Street that had lain empty for a number years must be explained.

“This is a critical test for the new Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, and I am calling on him to explain the level of co-operation and heavy handed tactics used last night, and identify at whose request the action was carried out, and who those masked men in balaclavas were.

“Reports indicate that men in balaclavas arrived alongside members of the Garda public order unit. The private security were in an unmarked van with no number plate on the front, and a British registration on the back. Members of our police force were also wearing face masks.

“It would appear that the private security hired also did not comply with the Private Security Services Act as they were not waering any ID to indicate the name of their employer. Such a breach of the law in a co-ordinated operation must be explained.

“The Commissioner should outline how this operation was co-ordinated and at who’s request and why such military style tactics were used. Further I would expect the Minister for Justice to comment on the type of tactics used, and whether he supports this type of intimidatory policing, and if he is comfortable with men in balaclavas carrying out forced evictions.

“Many people have raised legitimate questions about the scale and type of operation used and it is essential that the new Commissioner and the Minister for Justice address this issue today.”

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