The Garda’s oversight body has said it is very concerned about an eviction incident in Dublin that was attend by gardai.
The Policing Authority questioned the appropriateness of the Garda presence as the force commissioned a probe into the events at the property on Berkeley Road in Dublin.
Social media footage of the incident appeared to show masked men wearing black evicting several people from the house before boarding it up.
The statement from the Garda Siochana is welcome and important in that its recognition that there are lessons to be learned from the incident is an acceptance that all was not right with the Garda actions on the dayPolicing Authority
Several gardai were at the scene as the incident unfolded on Wednesday.
The Garda said an investigation into alleged criminal damage at the premises had been launched.
Deputy Commissioner John Twomey has also asked for an urgent external report on the Garda role in the incident so the organisation can “learn lessons”.
In response, the Policing Authority said: “The Policing Authority was very concerned by the material in public circulation relating to an eviction in Dublin on Wednesday last.
“That concern was about the appropriateness of the Garda presence and of some of the things that appeared to have been said, and about the fact that circumstances were allowed to develop where the impression was conveyed that the Garda Siochana had an active role in the event.
“The impression was also conveyed that the Garda concern for vulnerable people so amply demonstrated in the context of the health emergency was not evident in this case.
I have requested an urgent lessons-learned report on this recent incidentDeputy Commissioner John Twomey
“The chairperson of the authority had a number of contacts and conversations with the Acting Commissioner John Twomey about these issues on Thursday and Friday.
“The statement from the Garda Siochana is welcome and important in that its recognition that there are lessons to be learned from the incident is an acceptance that all was not right with the Garda actions on the day.”
Earlier, the Garda said it was “very aware of current public discourse” around the incident.
It said the force’s purpose at evictions was not to be an integral part of the event, but to prevent breaches of the peace and ensure the safety of all persons involved.
Mr Twomey has appointed an outside superintendent to examine all the circumstances of the incident.
“An Garda Siochana is a learning organisation,” he said.
“I have requested an urgent lessons-learned report on this recent incident. If, where An Garda Siochana can learn from this experience, we will do so to ensure that we continue to provide the best policing service going forward based on our tradition of policing by consent.”