Department of Justice must address Drew Harris’s MI5 role

Incoming Garda Commissioner must be free from any accusations of conflict of interest

Drew Harris, who takes up his role next week as Garda Commissioner, “is a highly intelligent, capable police officer”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Drew Harris, who takes up his role next week as Garda Commissioner, “is a highly intelligent, capable police officer”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

The appointment of Drew Harris as the new Garda Commissioner has prompted considerable discussion, including criticism that Harris, a former deputy chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) who has worked closely with the British security service (MI5) on intelligence and counterterrorism operations, is unsuited to the role of primary custodian of the State’s security.

Harris, who takes up his role next week, is a highly intelligent, capable police officer. Thankfully, he has offered his professional experiences and abilities to the State.

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