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There have been renewed calls for Harris to step down today. RollingNews
Justice Committee

Garda Commissioner faces questions from TDs after Dublin Riots

Commissioner Drew Harris has been invited to the Oireachtas justice committee today.

AMID CALLS FOR his resignation, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris is to face a grilling from TDs at the Oireachtas justice committee later today after the riots in Dublin last week.

A garda detective, who was on the scene of the attack that took place on Parnell Square last Thursday, has said there was no information passed to gardaí on the ground about what was being organised.

This comes after he told the Oireachtas joint policing committee yesterday that the force were not caught out by the violence and looting in the streets of the city centre last week.

Niall Hodgins, a garda detective and Garda Representative Association (GRA) spokesperson for Dublin North Central, told RTÉ’s Prime Time last night: “We weren’t informed of anything that was brewing in the background.

“What’s normal in these incidents is that a certain protocol kicks in. You seal off a scene of a serious crime – which happened – and always you would have, I guess, onlookers to a particular garda scene, whether it be a traffic accident or an incident of this nature.

“But no, there was no sense that anything was happening,” Hodgins added.

Asked what the atmosphere was like at the scene, Hodgins said: “The dogs on the street knew that if word got out, of the incident, what may have happened.”

Hodgins told the programme that gardaí were contacting each other for help, through text messages, and there was no plan or direction at first to deal with the riot.

He added that Harris’ claims that the events were unprecedented and unpredictable are not in line with previous comments the commissioner had made relating to similar events involving anti-immigration groups.

Yesterday it was revealed that the gardaí are examining alleged incitement and social media posts during the Dublin riots investigation.

However, last night Hodgins has claimed that none of what was being said on social media at the time was circulated or shared to gardaí from management.

Renewed calls from Sinn Féin TD and party justice spokesperson Pearse Doherty this morning for the resignation for Harris and justice minister Helen McEntee as a result of the events last Thursday are placing more pressure under the pair.

Both are facing a litany of criticism over the last number of days as the opposition largely believe the garda response to the riots was not adequate and allowed for the violent group to take over the streets.

Fianna Fáil senators Timmy Dooley and Erin McGreehan yesterday called for the Garda Commissioner to resign in the wake of last week’s riots

A number of Fianna Fáil TDs have also expressed privately that the minister’s position is untenable.

McEntee is due to face Leaders Questions later today in the Dáil.