The Garda Commissioner has responded to the backlash over Gardaí wearing balaclavas while removing occupiers from a building on Frederick Street.
Drew Harris said, “An Garda Síochána’s role at such events is to facilitate lawful protest while protecting the rights of others to do their lawful work safely – in this case carrying out an order of the High Court.”
“Our objective with any such operation is to ensure the safety of the public. Every year, An Garda Síochána polices a wide-range of lawful protests in this manner.”
Breaking: Statement from Garda Commissioner Drew Harris on N Frederick St protest pic.twitter.com/gfXesAAIdZ
— Jack Power (@jackpowerIT) September 13, 2018
He later added, “However, the form of dress used at the event was not correct as it is policy that if it deemed necessary to use the hood then it should be used in tandem with a protective helmet.
“A directive has issued today from Deputy Commissioner, Policing and Security, to re-enforce this requirement to all personnel.”
Take Back The City, a group calling for an end to the homelessness crisis, had released a statement condemning Garda and the private security firm’s behaviour after a number of arrests were made.
This is the state's response to people fighting for housing rights
Pepper spraying peaceful protest
Public order vans
All in the name of defending private security goons with no documentation of who they are and who they represent pic.twitter.com/8O1b5ShIT2
— Take Back The City - Dublin (@TBTCDublin) September 11, 2018