100 elite gardaí and soldiers in terror fight
Published 24/11/2015 | 02:30
Ireland has around 100 elite gardaí and soldiers who are adequately armed and trained to confront lethal terrorist groups like Islamic State (Isil).
The State's elite counter-terrorism units - comprising the Garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU) and the Army Ranger Wing (ARW) - have significantly increased their training to deal with the threat posed by jihadi fighters in the past year.
Their training programmes have recently been expanded, particularly since the threat level was increased early this year from "low" to "moderate", which means a terror attack in this country is possible but not likely.
Both the ERU and ARW are specially trained in hostage rescue operations, close protection and intelligence gathering, which the Rangers refer to as their 'black role'.
However, the number of troops in the ARW commando unit is understood to have halved in recent years, as the overall strength and structure of the Defence Forces were shrunk by budget cuts. Members of the ERU have trained overseas with the French, Dutch, Germans and Finns.