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Monday 15 September 2014

Gilmore: Police relations excellent

Published 05/07/2013 | 17:52

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Eamon Gilmore

Police relations on both sides of the border have never been better despite the Garda Commissioner's recent criticisms of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, politicians have maintained.

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Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said An Garda Siochana and its counterpart in Northern Ireland work closely against dissident threats as well as in the massive security operation for the G8 summit of world leaders in Co Fermanagh.

"There is very close collaboration between the police services on both sides of the border," he insisted.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan recently launched a scathing attack on the PSNI, with his lawyer accusing it of handing over impenetrable, anonymous and unverified intelligence to the Smithwick Tribunal. The inquiry is probing alleged garda collusion with the IRA in the murder of two senior RUC officers.

Speaking at the North-South Ministerial Council, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said politicians are satisfied the relationship could not be better.

"All of the evidence of the last number of years clearly shows the PSNI and the gardai have an excellent working relationship," he said.

"This has resulted in countless attempts to plunge us back to the past being thwarted by the good working relationship that exists. We are in their debt. They are doing a good job on our behalf."

Nine dissident suspects were arrested on Thursday and a haul of plastic explosives seized after officers mounted city-wide searches across Dublin.

First Minister Peter Robinson said co-operation has led to several terrorist attacks by dissidents being prevented.

"It is always good when we see a policing exercise that is successful in taking out the terrorist, the terrorist cell, terrorist equipment," he added. "All of that is beneficial for the whole of society. It shows people are on the ball in intelligence terms and we congratulate all the work that is done."

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