The selection of Drew Harris as Garda Commissioner is a deeply flawed and insensitive appointment.
Not only is the new commissioner a former member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, a severely compromised force with a fearsome reputation for brutality and a sinister record of collusion with Loyalist death squads but the actions of Drew Harris while serving as a senior member of the PSNI raise disturbing questions. The widely respected Relatives For Justice organisation has highlighted criticism of Mr Harris made by Belfast High Court in relation to his refusal to extend investigation into the feared Glenanne Gang which is believed to have also perpetrated atrocities in the Republic. Mr Justice Treacey, in his judgement, accused Drew Harris of an “extreme” abuse of power in closing down this exercise in analysing collusion. An Garda Síochána may have management problems but this is not the way to address them. Consequently, Cllr Micheál Choilm Mac Giolla Easbuig has placed the following motion before a meeting of Donegal County Council to take place this Monday the 23th of July.
In light of the judgement of Mr Justice Treacey in the Belfast High Court that the then PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris had perpetrated an extreme abuse of power when closing down an inquiry relating to collusion between British crown forces and the loyalist Glenanne gang responsible for atrocities on both sides of the border and the fact that the same Mr Harris had for long a close working relationship with the British security service, MI5 (a position from which one hardly ever retires) and thereby placing in peril this state’s most sensitive information, I propose that Donegal County Council call upon the Irish government to instruct the Minister for Justice to cancel the appointment of former RUC officer Drew Harris to the position of Commissioner of An Garda Síochána.
In a press release today, Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig has further stated that he is determined this issue will not be allowed slip from public attention. The Donegal councillor said that he is currently in the process of organising a campaign across the Republic to highlight this matter.
Micheál Choilm Mac Giolla Easbuig is an independent councillor on Donegal County Council.