Commissioner Drew Harris insists gardaí took no part in early-morning Dublin eviction, as CCTV of incident is reviewed
7 hrs ago
Gardaí are reviewing CCTV footage as part of an investigation into an eviction in Dublin this week, saying they had no prior knowledge that it was due to take place.
Speaking at a meeting of the Policing Authority, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said they received reports of between 20-30 masked men arriving at the address on Prussia Street early on Wednesday and entering the premises to vacate the property.
Mr Harris said gardaí had no prior knowledge of the eviction, for which there is a High Court order instructing the vacation of the property.
He said he Garda’s response was to preserve public order and to ensure there was no breach of the criminal code.
The Garda Commissioner added that gardaí took no part in the eviction process and were there to maintain a presence to secure the peace and prevent conflict between the two groups.
Some allegations and counter allegations have been made by both parties which are now the subject of an investigation.
Mr Harris said the appropriate actions has been taken in terms of securing evidence, including CCTV, and that matters are ongoing.
“This was not a pre-planned operation on our part, we were in effect summoned at 7.15am as this incident was unfolding,” Mr Harris said.
A stand-off ensued at the north inner city premises after men arrived and a number of people who were occupying the building climbed on to the roof and refused to come down.
It is understood the building and adjacent yard had been vacant for a number of years but had been occupied recently by 10 to 15 people who were using it as accommodation and as a social centre.
The Community Action Tenants Union (CATU) group alleged on Twitter that people’s belongings were smashed up in what it said was a “violent eviction”.
Several dozen supporters protested at the building yesterday evening.