Commissioner to review policing of Leinster House protest

O’Sullivan tells committee policing response to protest was ‘balanced and proportionate’

 

Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan has promised a review into events outside Leinster House this week in which one female garda was injured an a number of TDs were blocked from using the main entrance.

Ms O’Sullivan was asked to meet with the Committee on Procedures and Privileges in a private session to examine security procedures around Leinster House.

The move came after politicians including former minister for justice Alan Shatter were blocked from entering and leaving by anti water charges demonstrators.

Ms O’Sullivan told the committee the protest began with 10 or 12 people and grew to several hundred.

She insisted the Garda response to the demonstration was “balanced and proportionate”.

The commissioner told TDs a review would be carried out into what happened and that she respected the primacy of TDs and Senators being able to access or leave Leinster House. The meeting lasted for approximately 40 minutes.

One Garda member was knocked out and hospitalised when a large traffic cone was thrown and hit her on the head.

Two male protesters have been charged with public order offences and released to appear before the courts at a later date.

A Garda inspector has been appointed to head an investigation team that will study video footage taken during the incident.

Former minister for justice Alan Shatter was blocked trying to enter Leinster House car park in his car, later taking to Twitter to describe as “anti democratic fascist thuggery” the actions of some of those involved.

Labour Party senators Mark Moran and Derek Landy abandoned their cars after Kildare Street was blocked by a group of several hundred protesters, who later engaged in a sit down protest on the road.