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Garda Use Of Balaclavas At Dublin Protest Was 'Not Correct'

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The Garda Commissioner says the use of balaclavas by gardaí at a housing protest in Dublin was not correct.

It comes following an eviction at a property in North Frederick Street last week.

Activists had been occupying the vacant building since last month, and were forced to leave after a court order.

A protest was held during the eviction - prompting masked gardaí from the public order unit to attend.

Five people were arrested during the demonstration, and the incident prompted hundreds of people to protest in Dublin city centre yesterday evening.

Drew Harris says that while the decision to use the fire retardant hood is one for the operational commander on the ground, it should only be used with a protective helmet.

He says that a directive has issued today to re-enforce this requirement.

Commissioner Harris has requested a report on the event to see what lessons can be learned.

He added: "Members of An Garda Síochána showed restraint in the face of physical and verbal abuse from a very small minority and I condemn the racist abuse suffered by an individual member of An Garda Síochána working at the event."


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