Mary Lou McDonald has said she has “no confidence” in Garda Commissioner Drew Harris or Justice Minister Helen McEntee.
The Sinn Féin President and Dublin Central TD said the nation remains “numbed by shock” and “overwhelmed with sadness” by the violence in the capital yesterday.
Deputy McDonald said following the attack on schoolchildren outside Gaelscoil Coláiste Mhuire, it was “obvious” tension in the city had increased.
“The cold truth and the reality that we must confront today is that the Gardaí lost control of the centre of our capital city,” she said.
“A mob was allowed to shut down the centre of the city. Public transport locked down. People stranded in the city.
“Members of the public, families and workers [were] terrified in what was a threatening and volatile atmosphere.
“This was an unacceptable, unprecedented collapse in policing.”
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) November 24, 2023
Deputy McDonald said it was imperative such a situation “never happens again” and the Gardaí retained her “full support”.
However, she concluded, “given the catastrophic operational failures last night, I have no confidence in the Justice Minister, and no confidence in the Garda Commissioner.”
'Deployed early on'
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Minister McEntee described yesterday’s events as “truly appalling” and defended her handling of the situation.
“They [Gardaí] were deployed early on in all of this,” she said.
“I don’t have an exact time.
“Into, say, early evening, my understanding is that as the crowds gathered and as this vitriol and the violence and the abuse that was being hurled at the Gardaí started to escalate, very soon after this, the Public Order Unit was deployed.”
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said there had been "no failure" on the part of Gardaí in their response to the violence.
"This is regrettably how protests have moved on," he said.
"We have to graduate and have a proportionate response to that."
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Main image: Mary Lou Mc Donald TD. Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie