Belfast Telegraph

Garda and PSNI play down travel arrangements after commissioner’s car struck

Sunken bollards at Garda HQ in Dublin were mistakenly activated under a PSNI vehicle carrying Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris (Niall Carson/PA)
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris (Niall Carson/PA)

The Garda Commissioner was being driven in line with “normal procedures” when the vehicle he was travelling in was struck by a security barrier, the PSNI and Garda have said.

It occurred at Garda headquarters in Dublin’s Phoenix Park when sunken bollards at the entrance activated under an unmarked PSNI vehicle that was transporting Drew Harris back from a trip to Northern Ireland.

It is understood the incident in March, which has been blamed on a malfunction of new security structures, happened at walking pace and only minor damage was caused to the undercarriage of the vehicle.

No one was injured.

The episode however has raised questions as to why the commissioner, a former high-ranking PSNI officer, was being driven from the border to Dublin by close protection officers from Northern Ireland.

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Drew Harris was formerly deputy chief constable of the PSNI (Niall Carson/PA)

On Sunday the PSNI and Garda moved to make clear the transport arrangement was standard.

In near identical statements, the two police services said they were both satisfied that normal procedure was followed.

A PSNI spokeswoman said: “We do not comment on operational matters.

“However, where PSNI and An Garda Siochana carry out any operational activity in either jurisdiction it is within the law and with full permission and knowledge of the host service.”

A Garda spokeswoman added: “Both An Garda Siochana and PSNI are content normal procedure was followed.”

Mr Harris is a former deputy chief constable of the PSNI.

The commissioner, who was appointed to head up the Garda last year, is still a regular traveller north of the border.

PA

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