Wednesday 23 January 2019

Online threats against Dublin Garda member ‘completely unacceptable’

Commissioner Drew Harris and Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan have spoken out as it is understood the garda’s identity was shared on social media.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan (Brian Lawless/PA)
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan (Brian Lawless/PA)

By David Young, Press Association

The Garda Commissioner and Government ministers have condemned online threats made against a Garda member in Dublin.

It is understood the garda’s identity was shared on social media after a contentious gardai operation against housing protesters last week.

A number of people were arrested on Tuesday night amid disturbances when balaclava-wearing gardai attended an unoccupied property in the city’s North Frederick Street accompanied by masked private contractors to evict demonstrators.

A protest was staged on O’Connell Street the following night, accusing the gardai of heavy-handed tactics.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said ‘appropriate supports’ had been put in place (Liam McBurney/PA)

Commissioner Drew Harris said the online intimidation was “completely unacceptable”.

He said “appropriate supports” had been put in place to protect the welfare and safety of the garda targeted.

Commissioner Harris added: “Threats and intimidation against Garda members who are only doing their job to keep people safe and uphold lawful order are completely unacceptable.

“I utterly condemn it.”

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said: “This serves to highlight the challenges facing gardai in upholding the law on our behalf and the importance of all right-thinking people supporting them in doing that.

“Threats against them are threats against the rule of law and not acceptable. I expect the matter will be fully investigated by gardai.”

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said he was ‘disgusted’ by the threats (Niall Carson/PA)

Housing minister Eoghan Murphy said he was “disgusted” by the threats, telling RTE: “It is utterly wrong.

“We talked about this earlier in the week when the protests were happening, about the safety of the gardai – and that has to be paramount as they go about protecting the public.

“And I do hope that anyone involved in these protests, any political organisations or protesting organisations – while of course they have a right to protest – they distance themselves from this immediately.

“Because it’s completely wrong.”

Press Association

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