Claim of racial profiling at Border by Garda continues to cause concern

‘Selective passport checks’ conducted on buses crossing between NI and State

The Policing Authority has said it "continues to engage" with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris in relation to alleged racial profiling at the Border by immigration gardaí.

It follows concerns raised by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) that members of the Garda National Immigration Bureau were conducting "selective passport checks" on buses crossing between Northern Ireland and the State.

In a letter to authority chief executive Helen Hall last October, IHREC's chief commissioner, Sinéad Gibney, said the issue had been brought to the commission's attention by civil society organisations.

‘Travel documents’

"The organisations who've been in contact with us are specifically concerned about racial profiling," said Ms Gibney, who asked if the authority had been provided with any information by An Garda Síochána regarding implementation of section 11 of the Immigration Act 2004 and North-South travel.


She said she would welcome clarity on “both the law and practice with regard to the checking of travel documents by GNIB when people are crossing the land border” in the Common Travel Area.

The authority said it had “engaged, and continues to engage, with Commissioner Harris on this matter”. A Garda spokesman said senior management were examining the contents of the correspondence from IHREC and the authority.

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland is Social Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times