Gardai taken by surprise…

According to the Republic’s Minister for Justice Michael McDowell, the Gardai had no idea that such an action was in the offing and consequently were not ready for the riot when it took place.

Amid growing criticism by Opposition TDs and Garda representative bodies about the level of Garda preparation for the event, the Taoiseach last night moved to defend Garda management, saying that they “did a great job on the day”. Bertie Ahern said garda� could have been kitted out with riot gear at the outset of the operation, but “if they did that, they’d be accused of over-reacting”.

Cabinet meeting this morning, which we understand will definatively confirm that there was no Sinn Fein or IRA involvement in Saturday’s riots. Dail Questions at 2.30. Dublin City Council to discuss next Monday.