Belfast Telegraph

Garda chief Harris assists in arrest of drink-drive suspect

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris

By Robin Schiller

The Republic's top police officer was involved in the arrest of a suspected drunk driver in Dublin.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris - a former PSNI Deputy Chief Constable - was returning from a meeting to Garda Headquarters on Tuesday evening when he came across a car being driven erratically in the Blanchardstown area.

Gardai confirmed they later arrested a person for a road traffic offence.

While Garda HQ would not officially comment on the specific nature of the incident, it is understood a female was detained on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol. Reports said the Garda chief was being driven along a road near the Phoenix Park when he noticed another vehicle moving in a dangerous manner.

Mr Harris, who at the time was with his official driver, then notified his local officers.

Members of the road policing unit attended the scene at around 5.30pm on Tuesday evening.

A woman was later arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and brought to Blanchardstown Garda Station.

While Mr Harris did not officially carry out the arrest himself, his role has been described as "assisting" the apprehension of the suspected drink-driver.

A Garda spokesman said: "The Garda Commissioner was present today at a road traffic incident, during which a driver was arrested for a road traffic offence. An Garda Siochana will not be making any further comment."

Mr Harris was appointed as the most senior Garda in the country in September 2018, having previously served 34 years with police in Northern Ireland.

During that time he held a series of senior operational commands and has policing experience across a wide range of areas.

He was previously involved in a minor incident at Garda HQ in the Phoenix Park after the vehicle he was traveling in collided with a mechanical bollard at the entrance gate.

Mr Harris did not suffer any serious injury and the incident was later blamed on a mechanical fault.

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