Wednesday 21 August 2019

Drew Harris' vehicle incident at garda HQ caused by 'bollard malfunction' and not security alert - spokesperson

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

GARDA HQ has said an incident involving the Garda Commissioner’s armed PSNI escort last month was a “bollard malfunction” and not a security alert.

This week it emerged that an unmarked PSNI 4x4 escorting Commissioner Drew Harris was damaged after striking a bollard as it entered Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park.

The bollard was raised as the vehicle entered the depot, catching underneath the Range Rover and neutralising it during the incident on March 25 last.

No injuries were reported but questions have been raised over the PSNI officers escorting the Commissioner south of the border.

In a statement this afternoon Garda HQ said that the bollards were activated as a result of a malfunction and reaffirmed that normal procedures were followed.

"There was no security incident at Garda HQ on 25 March 2019. A newly installed bollard malfunctioned and caught the underside of the vehicle the Commissioner was travelling in,” the statement said..

“This happened at a walking pace. No vehicles were flipped. The malfunction was quickly fixed and vehicular traffic went in and out of Garda HQ as normal that day. As per our previous statement, normal movement procedures were followed in relation to the Commissioner.”

It had earlier been reported that a garda on sentinel duty activated the security bollards after the unmarked and Northern registered Range Rover drove towards the Garda HQ.

An unmarked 4x4 being driven by members of the garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU), which was part of the escort, gained entry without incident to the Phoenix Park depot immediately before the PSNI vehicle.

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