New garda chief's PSNI past under spotlight

While Harris is universally recognised as a top-class policeman, the question being asked is whether his previous PSNI work alongside MI5 makes him unsuitable to lead Ireland's security operations

21st August, 2018
New Garda Commissioner Drew Harris with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Pic: RollingNews.ie

There have always been poachers turned gamekeepers in Irish public life. Shane Ross springs to mind.

The arguments have crystallised as follows.

Harris, while a senior PSNI officer, gave evidence to the Smithwick Tribunal into garda collusion in the IRA murders of two RUC officers in 1989. This 2012 testimony was based on new British intelligence that was rubbished by gardaí as “nonsense on stilts”. This is now the force Harris heads up.

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