High Court challenges against new Garda chef who is going on

Drew Harris (Niall Carson / PA)
Drew Harris (Niall Carson / PA)

Legal proceedings are under way today in the Supreme Court as a challenge against the choice of the new Garda chief.

Ciaran MacAirt, whose grandmother Kathleen Irvine was killed during The Troubles, has started the action to prevent the police of Northern Ireland, deputy head commissioner Drew Harris, from being appointed to the role.

Mrs. Irvine was one of 15 people killed by loyalists when bombing McGurk's Bar in Belfast in 1971.

MacAirt, who is assisted by Kinnear and Co-solicitors with the help of MacGeehin Toale Solicitors in Dublin, requests permission for a judicial review of the appointment of Mr. Harris.

Ciaran MacAirt, right, has brought the lawsuit (Paul Faith / PA)

The PSNI delegate became the first Garda chef to be appointed from outside the Republic when he was announced as the new Commissioner in June.

Mr Harris is a former Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer and his officer-father Alwyn was killed in 1989 by an IRA bomb.

MacAirt claims that Mr. Harris lacks the required independence for the post due to his roles in PSNI and RUC.

The McGurk bombardments were one of the worst atrocities of the Troubles and the families of those who died have long campaigned for a new question.

The bombing was carried out by loyalists, but as soon as the security forces blamed the IRA, speculation argued that the dead would have included IRA members who had the device with them.

Family members and campaigners discovered a large number of new evidence that was not heard during the original judicial inquiry that was held the year after the bombings.

Press Association

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