Garda commissioner requests urgent 'lessons learned' report after Phibsborough eviction

Garda commissioner requests urgent 'lessons learned' report after Phibsborough eviction

The tenants have since returned to the property after the eviction was deemed invalid. Picture: Sasko Lazarov /

Deputy Garda Commissioner John Twomey has requested an "urgent lessons learned report" after the recent eviction of nine tenants from a property on Berkeley Road in north Dublin this week. 

A private security firm served a cease and desist order on the tenants in Phibsborough who were removed from the property along with their possessions on Wednesday afternoon.

The tenants have since returned to the property after the eviction was deemed invalid.

The role of the gardaí during the incident was criticised by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties as well as Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon. 

Mr Gannon wrote to garda management seeking clarification about the role of An Garda Síochána during evictions.

In a statement released today, An Garda Síochána said they were aware of "current public discourse" surrounding the eviction and that the gardaí "must listen and learn from our experiences."

The statement also said a criminal investigation was being launched into alleged criminal damage at the property. 

"Our purpose at events of this type, which are essentially civil legal matters, is not to be an integral part of the event but to prevent breaches of the peace and ensure the safety of all persons involved.

"In the ever increasingly complex policing environment front-line members of An Garda Síochána must make dynamic and real-time decisions based on the information available to them at any particular time.

"An Garda Síochána management must support frontline members and ensure that they have the correct guidance and support in attending similar developing, dynamic evolving incidents."

A Superintendant has been appointed to oversee the report into the incident. 

Speaking about the decision to commission a report, Deputy Commissioner Twomey said: "An Garda Síochána is a learning organisation. I have requested an urgent lessons learned report on this recent incident. 

"If, where An Garda Síochána can learn from this experience, we will do so to ensure that we continue to provide the best policing service going forward based on our tradition of policing by consent.”

The Policing Authority in a statement today welcomed the announcement by Deputy Commissioner Twomey. 

The supervisory body said it had been in contact with the Deputy Commissioner since the incident and said it was concerned about the presence of the Gardaí at the incident and how events had developed. 

"That concern was about the appropriateness of the Garda presence and of some of the things that appeared to have been said, and about the fact that circumstances were allowed to develop where the impression was conveyed that the Garda Síochána had an active role in the event. 

"The impression was also conveyed that the Garda concern for vulnerable people so amply demonstrated in the context of the health emergency was not evident in this case," the statement said. 

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