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Saturday 21 October 2017

Garda to expand networks to combat terrorism

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald Photo: Arthur Carron
Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald Photo: Arthur Carron
Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Garda chiefs are planning to expand their liaison network to combat the growing threat from international terrorism and organised crime.

Additional resources are being made available to the crime and security branch, including the liaison section, based at Garda Headquarters in Phoenix Park, Dublin.

Appointments have been made to posts that had been left unfilled as a result of the moratorium on recruitment during the economic recession.

Gardaí currently have officers seconded to the Irish embassies in London, Madrid, The Hague, Paris and Lisbon with others based with Europol, the European Union's law enforcement agency, at its headquarters at The Hague in the Netherlands.

Closer co-operation with police forces in Spain and the Netherlands was forged last year as gardaí tackled the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

But a fresh focus on the jihadi threat has led to a further review of how to utilise the liaison network. The network is expected to be widened to include close contact with other relevant countries.

The planned moves form the background to the work being carried out by gardaí and military intelligence to counter the threat from Isil and its sympathisers.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was given a briefing on developments at a meeting of senior government ministers yesterday.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, as well as Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan and Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, attended the meeting.

Ms Fitzgerald said the security chiefs indicated their officers remained in daily contact with their counterparts in the UK, the EU and beyond.

Irish Independent

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