• May 27, 2017

The manifestation of a obviously well planned and resourced suicide bomber attack in Britain has raised concerns in Ireland that police there are not sufficiently prepared to meet what has been a threat hitherto mainly confined to the Middle East.
Ireland has always had Garda – armed – Emergency Response Units (ERUs) and since last year Dublin and Dublin Port have had additional Armed Support Units (ASUs).
Meanwhile ‘Senior Garda officers with decades of experience in fighting terrorism say the force is aware and prepared for “a constant battle and vigilance” in the face of international risks’.
However the new threats posed are very different from the scenarios previously faced and the Garda Representatives Association (GRA) has not held back from criticism revealing:
‘That as few as three armed Garda members were on duty at any one time at Dublin airport’.
The figures which have not been challenged seem an extraordinarily pauce figure for an Airport which is a major International and Regional hub.
The GRA have gone further and ‘last month used the occasion of its annual delegate conference to call for anti-terrorism training for all members of the Garda, not just specialist units’. It said ‘even basic training was needed in directing crowds after any major incident and in sealing off and clearing public areas at times of risk’.
The Garda which (with the exception of specialist units is an unarmed force unlike the PSNI in the North) has a long tradition of operating with the Irish Army. But Irish Defence Forces are themselves extremely stretched carrying out peace-keeping duties in several overseas locations for the UN.
Full Irish Times article at this link:
Image: Emergency Response Unit working with unarmed Gardaí on a checkpoint in Dublin.
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