Garda Commissioner: I will work with any elected government including a Sinn Féin-led one

The Garda Commissioner has said he will work with whatever government is elected, including a Sinn Féin-led government.

Garda Commissioner: I will work with any elected government including a Sinn Féin-led one

The Garda Commissioner has said he will work with whatever government is elected, including a Sinn Féin-led government.

However, he also hinted that he has the same intelligence the PSNI claims to have that suggests the provisional Army Council oversees both Sinn Féin and the IRA.

He said today: “On national security matters and matters around the security of the State, it is my obligation to report those to the government.

“We have contributed and continue to contribute to the Independent Reporting Commission - reporting on the status of various paramilitary organisations groups.

“We would hold with their opinion in these matters.

“But also I am aware of the PSNI and the British security services assessment and we do not differ from that view.”

He was asked if this would create a problem for him in a Sinn Féin-led government in general, and a Sinn Féin Minister of Justice in particular.

He replied: "I am a public servant. I will work with the government.

“I have in law heavy responsibilities in terms of protecting the people of Ireland, preventing and detecting crime and will work with whatever Minister to achieve those aims.”

Speaking at today’s Passing Out Ceremony at the Garda Training College in Templemore, Mr Harris also said he is to look into claims Cork’s specialist sex crimes unit is no longer functioning.

It was put to Mr Harris that there have been claims the Protective Services Unit has not been operational since 2018 and is not taking on new cases.

Sources have suggested that other detective units are taking on an extra workload as a result.

Indeed, there are claims that Cork is down some 24 detectives and needs at least 100 front line staff to bring it up to “competent operational levels”.

Commissioner Harris said: “I am aware Cork has had a heavy workload over the last year in respect of some very serious criminality.

“That has put pressure on detective resources.

“At the same time, they've made good progress with the investigations they have conducted.”

He insisted garda management is “committed to protecting” the Protective Services Unit.

And he said more Protective Services Unit detectives “will be rolled out by the end of next month”.

He added: “We continue to progress.

“We have the highest number of detectives that we've ever had in the organisation and that reflects on the demands that we are placed on us.

“There is high demand everywhere.”

He was asked again whether or not the Divisional Protective Services Unit was operational.

“My understanding is that it is but I can double-check that for you,” he said.

The newly attested gardaí will see the number of gardaí increases to 14,467.

This is the largest, they say, number of sworn gardaí in 10 years.

Of the probationers allocated to different regions, 92 are going to the Dublin Regions, 17 are going to Cork, and 14 are going to Meath.

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