Tuesday 18 June 2019

Drew Harris: Roscommon incident was 'serious crime and we're treating it as such'

A garda at the scene. Picture: Frank McGrath
A garda at the scene. Picture: Frank McGrath
The house and year where 8 security guards were attacked at Falsk, near Strokestown, Co Roscommon.Picture Credit:Frank McGrath
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

GARDA Commissioner Drew Harris has said the violent incident at a house in Co Roscommon at the weekend was a "serious crime" and gardaí are treating it as such.

Mr Harris has made his first public comments on the incident which occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning after an eviction last week.

He said: "We found ourselves facing a very difficult and intense situation developing.

"Undoubtedly in the very early hours of Sunday morning a serious crime was committed and we're gathering evidence in respect of that and conducting a full investigation at this point in time."

Mr Harris said the eviction had been a "civil matter" and added: "our part in this is obviously to prevent and detect crime and to preserve the peace and that's our functions."

He insisted his officers would not stand by if the the enforcement of a court order became violent when asked about recent controversial evictions carried out by private security firms.

Mr Harris reiterated that Sunday's events "were a serious crime and we are treating them as such and there is a full investigation underway."

His remarks come after an incident at a house at Falsk, Co Roscommon where a group of more than 20 men raided a property armed with baseball bats and targeted security men hired to guard the farm and house on the land.

Eight security workers were injured - three of whom were hospitalised with serious injuries - while a dog was killed and four vehicles burnt out.

The same property was at the centre of an eviction last Tuesday during which a farmer was removed from the property.

The farmer at the centre of the eviction is not suspected of any wrongdoing in relation to the violent incident at his former home.

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