Gardaí have launched a criminal investigation into “alleged criminal damage” at a property on Berkeley Road in north Dublin from which nine tenants were evicted earlier this week.
Deputy Garda commissioner John Twomey said on Saturday morning that the policing and security unit had also appointed an outside superintendent to examine all the circumstances of the incident on Wednesday “from a lessons learned perspective”.
“I have requested an urgent lessons learned report on this recent incident,” said the deputy commissioner.
“If, where An Garda Síochána can learn from this experience, we will do so as to ensure that we continue to provide the best policing service going forward based on our tradition of policing by consent.”
Nine tenants were evicted from the house in Phibsborough after several men wearing all black, face coverings, caps and sunglasses entered the premises and instructed the tenants to leave before boarding up the front door and windows.
Video footage shows a number of gardaí attended the eviction and watched as one of the tenants was physically removed from the property.
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties had demanded answers from gardaí about the presence of officers, saying gardaí seemed to have played a “supportive role” when the residents were removed from the house.
“I’ve told you already, it’s not my responsibility if you’re homeless” says the Garda to one of the 9 tenants illegally evicted last night in Phibsboro.
It is, however, their responsibility to oversee the eviction apparently. (No, it’s not) pic.twitter.com/sTUwJpQBgf
— Dublin Central Housing Action (@D_C_H_A) August 13, 2020
In a statement released on Saturday, An Garda Síochána said it was “very aware of current public discourse” around the incident on Berkeley Road and that as an organisation gardaí must “listen and learn from our experiences”.
The force is “committed to delivering a professional policing and security service with trust, confidence and support”, said the statement.
“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.”