News Politics

Sunday 11 December 2016

Garda chief to appear in front of Dail committee to discuss policing of chaotic protest

Niall O'Connor Political Correspondent

Published 02/07/2015 | 13:49

Protesters try to block the car carrying former Minister for Justice Alan Shatter into Leinster House. Photo: Sam Boal
Protesters try to block the car carrying former Minister for Justice Alan Shatter into Leinster House. Photo: Sam Boal
A tweet posted by Alan Shatter last night

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan has agreed to appear in front of the Oireachtas Committee for Procedure and Privileges (CPP) tomorrow to discuss the policing of last night’s chaotic demonstration outside Leinster House.

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A source told independent.ie that Ms O’Sullivan will be quizzed on why the entrance of Leinster House was not cordoned off - as is the procedure for most large demonstrations.

The news comes as Tánaiste Joan Burton today strongly criticised the behaviour of some demonstrators who caused injury to a female garda officer.

Read more: Dail protest: Politician who organised protest condemns 'throwing of objects and conduct in that fashion'

An anti-austerity protest outside the Oireachtas descended into chaos yesterday evening. The sit-down protest on Kildare Street caused rush-hour traffic delays. Photo: Arthur Carron
An anti-austerity protest outside the Oireachtas descended into chaos yesterday evening. The sit-down protest on Kildare Street caused rush-hour traffic delays. Photo: Arthur Carron

Two Labour Party senators, Mary Moran and Denis Landy, were forced to abandon their cars as protestors blocked their exit.

In a statement to independent.ie, Ms Burton also asked whether organisers of the protest would condemn such behaviour.

"The right to peaceful protest is essential to democracy. But when a Garda is injured and left requiring medical treatment, nobody can seriously call that a peaceful protest,” the Labour Party leader said.

“The conduct of those who threw items and engaged in intimidating conduct last night - towards both members of the force and members of the national parliament - should be condemned by any right-minded person, including any politicians who helped organise the protest,” she added.

Read more: Garda chief summoned as protest descends into chaos

The CPP decided to ask Ms O’Sullivan to appear after TDs expressed concern about the policing plan put into operation.

A tweet posted by Alan Shatter last night
A tweet posted by Alan Shatter last night

The committee, which meets in private, had previously been assured by senior gardai that any future protests would be robustly policed.

But the demonstration spiralled out of control as dozens of protesters hurled abuse at and gardai.

A small group staged a sit in on Kildare Street which caused traffic delays.

The two senators who were forced to abandon their vehicles retrieved them after 11pm.

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