Drew Harris Garda challenge dismissed in Dublin

Drew Harris Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Drew Harris was PSNI deputy chief constable prior to his appointment the new Garda commissioner

A legal bid to challenge the appointment of Drew Harris as the new Garda commissioner has been dismissed by a court in Dublin.

Mr Harris, who was deputy chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), is due to start his new position next month.

A judge in the High Court in Dublin began hearing arguments on Tuesday.

The case was brought by CiarĂ¡n MacAirt, whose grandmother died in the 1971 McGurk's Bar bombing in Belfast.

Mr MacAirt had claimed Mr Harris' former roles in the PSNI and its predecessor, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), would make it impossible for him to fully discharge his new duties.

He claimed Mr Harris has signed and is bound by the UK's Official Secrets Act and believes this conflict is incompatible with the duties of a Garda commissioner, in particular to state security and the investigation of crime.

However, a lawyer for the Irish state said Mr MacAirt's case was "unstateable" and even at its height was "nothing more than an expression of an opinion" that the applicant does not agree with Mr Harris's appointment.

In his judgment, Mr Justice Denis McDonald said Mr MacAirt had not reached the legal threshold required for the challenge to go before a full hearing of the High Court.

Mr Harris was appointed Garda (Irish police) commissioner in June of this year.

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