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Dublin: 15°C Saturday 12 June 2021

Call for clarity after PSNI vehicle carrying Drew Harris hits barrier at Garda HQ

The Garda Commissioner was travelling back from Northern Ireland on official business when the incident happened.

Garda commissioner Drew Harris
Garda commissioner Drew Harris
Image: Niall Carson/PA Images

CLARITY IS NEEDED over an incident that is understood to have taken place at Garda HQ, where a PSNI vehicle carrying Commissioner Drew Harris reportedly hit a barrier, Sinn Féin has said. 

Its justice spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said today the incident “raises a series of questions” about how it came to occur.

TheJournal.ie understands that the garda commissioner was travelling back from Northern Ireland to Garda HQ in the Phoenix Park in Dublin, where he would usually have transferred to an official garda vehicle after crossing into Ireland.

However, it is believed he remained in the unmarked PSNI jeep all the way back to Dublin.

When the vehicle arrived to Garda headquarters, an emergency button was pushed which caused a barrier to rise and the vehicle carrying Harris is said to have rammed the barrier.

It’s understood no major injuries were caused in the incident.

Ó Laoghaire said: “My understanding is that, contrary to standard procedure, commissioner Harris did not change between PSNI and Garda vehicles at the border and continued to Dublin from the North in the PSNI vehicle.

This raises a series of questions about why standard procedure was abandoned, whether the Gardaí on duty at the Phoenix Park were informed of this and if not, why not?

The Sinn Féin TD added that any such security issue taking place at Garda HQ is a cause of “serious concern”.

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““I would call on [Harris] to immediately make a statement and clarify this matter,” he said. 

A garda spokesperson confirmed to TheJournal.ie that an incident had taken place but they wouldn’t be commenting further for “operational reasons”. 

With reporting from Garreth MacNamee, Christine Bohan

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Sean Murray

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