Garda Headquarters has said today that both An Garda Síochána and the PSNI are satisfied that normal procedures were followed during an armed escort for the Garda Commissioner last month which led to a security alert at Garda Headquarters and a PSNI jeep being damaged.

Commissioner Drew Harris was being driven back to Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park in Dublin from Northern Ireland on Monday 25 March in an unmarked reinforced PSNI Range Rover as part of a joint Garda PSNI convoy.

The Garda's Emergency Response Unit was allowed in to Garda Headquarters but the garda on duty at the gate had not been informed that the Garda Commissioner was in a Northern Registered PSNI vehicle behind and activated security procedures.

A security bollard rose from the ground and inserted into the jeep's engine block which disabled the PSNI vehicle as it tried to drive in.

Neither the Commissioner nor the PSNI officers with him were injured.

Commissioner Harris later that day attended the meeting of the Joint Policing Committee in Galway and gave a number of media interviews.

Garda Headquarters said in a statement this afternoon it does not comment on operational matters but where  An Garda Síochána and the PSNI carry out any operational activity in either jurisdiction it is within the law and with the full permission and knowledge of the host.

Garda sources say it is not unusual for PSNI officers to travel south of the border in this and many other instances, such as when they are escorting the Chief Constable, senior judges or other personnel who require security to attend conferences or other business here.

They also say there are procedures in place to allow police officers from other countries to carry firearms here while part of a close protection detail, such as exists for visits by the US President, the UK Prime Minister and other foreign dignitaries.

Earlier today, the Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Donnchadh O’Laoghaire called on the Garda Commissioner to clarify the circumstances surrounding the incident.