Harris to face calls to clarify role of gardaí when attending evictions

The Garda Commissioner will today face calls from mid-ranking gardaí to clarify their role in home evictions.

Drew Harris is to attend the annual conference of the AGSI in Cavan later today.

Gardaí from the Roscommon and Longford divisions want Commissioner Drew Harris to set out clear policies in relation to the role and function of gardaí when attending evictions.

Gardaí have no role in evictions as they are a civil matter but do attend to ensure there is no breach of the peace.

It follows a widely reported case last December where a family were evicted from their home in Strokestown, Roscommon.

President of the AGSI Cormac Moylan says it is important that the role is clarified for the public as well as gardaí.

Drew Harris

"We understand that court orders have to be enforced," Mr Moylan said.

"We fully understand it and fully appreciate that they have a role there. But we would like to see some sort of pre-planning."

AGSI General Secretary John Jacob echoed the need for clarity.

"When the Garda organisation is there to assist a legitimate arm of the State to exercise court orders, it is not our function to enforce them," said Mr Jacob.

"What our president has said I agree with. We need to have a policy in the organisation so everyone understands their role."

The conference will continue today without two of its senior members.

They have decided not to attend following revelations that a member is under investigation for allegedly carrying out prohibited security work in their spare time.

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