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Garda Commissioner says he's 'anxious' for cross-border cooperation post-Brexit

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris was speaking on RTÉ One’s Crimecall this evening.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris
Image: Niall Carson via PA Images

GARDA COMMISSIONER DREW Harris has said he is “very anxious” for cross-border cooperation to be maintained post-Brexit. 

Speaking during his second interview with RTÉ One’s Crimecall since being appointed Garda Commissioner, Harris said he wishes to see “continued cooperation” with the PSNI post-Brexit. 

On 8 November, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan welcomed the establishment of the first-ever joint investigation team involving An Garda Síochána and the PSNI, which was set up to address the attacks on Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) and its management. 

Harris said the force “wouldn’t have enjoyed” the opportunity to set up the joint investigation team, which falls under EU treaties, had there been a “cliff-edge, no deal Brexit”. 

“We hope that in the transition arrangements, these arrangements will continue, and then as the UK and the EU work through their trading arrangements there onwards then those will be maintained,” Harris said. 

“We will be very anxious for that. We have a strong relationship, but that relationship is based on the exchange of information, intelligence and indeed evidence,” he said. 

During the interview, the topic of border policing was raised in light of this year’s attacks on QIH. 

In September, QIH director Kevin Lunney suffered life-changing injuries after he was taken from near his home and assaulted.

A cross-border investigation was subsequently launched.

Harris noted that gardaí are “cooperating through the joint investigation team” PSNI in dealing with the matter. 

“We’re also working with other international partners around organised crime as well. Also, we see the Criminal Assets Bureau active, so there’s a lot happening and there’s a lot of concentration on crime in the border areas,” Harris said. 

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