Tuesday 28 February 2017

Military officers warn Ireland 'does not have resources to deal with ongoing terrorist threat'

Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Minister Simon Coveney.
Minister Simon Coveney.

Military officers have warned the Government that Ireland has not currently got the resources to deal with an ongoing terrorist threat.

They say the Defence Forces have the capacity to cope with a single terror strike.

But they are seriously concerned about the lack of "top end" equipment to ensure they confront threats on a continual basis.

Last night they told Defence Minister Simon Coveney that Friday night's atrocity in Paris had underlined that the threat was now close to our shores and we were vulnerable to attack.

The warning was issued by Comdt Earnan Naughton, general secretary of Raco, the representative association for officers in the Defence Forces.

It came as Mr Coveney and his senior advisers studied a range of options that could be adopted by Ireland in response to the French call for help at a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels on Tuesday.

A man lies on the ground as French police check his identity near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. The man was later released after his identity was verified. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
A man lies on the ground as French police check his identity near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. The man was later released after his identity was verified. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
Investigators work outside a bar near the Stade de France where explosions were reported to have detonated outside the stadium during the France vs German friendly soccer match near Paris, November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Gonazlo Fuentes
A rescue worker walks plast a victim in the 10th district of Paris, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. At least 35 people were killed Friday in shootings and explosions around Paris, many of them in a popular concert hall where patrons were taken hostage, police and medical officials said. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
Police stand outside the Stade de France where explosions were reported to have detonated outside the stadium during the France vs German friendly soccer match near Paris, November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Police officers take position outside the Stade de France stadium after the international friendly soccer France against Germany, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 in Saint Denis, outside Paris. At least 35 people were killed in shootings and explosions around Paris, many of them in a popular theater where patrons were taken hostage, police and medical officials said Friday. Two explosions were heard outside the Stade de France stadium. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Spectators invade the pitch of the Stade de France stadium after the international friendly soccer France against Germany, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 in Saint Denis, outside Paris. At least 35 people were killed in shootings and explosions around Paris, many of them in a popular theater where patrons were taken hostage, police and medical officials said Friday. Two explosions were heard outside the Stade de France stadium. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Rescue workers evacuate a woman near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, on November 13, 2015. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGETDOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 13: Policemen patrol the streets during gunfire near the Bataclan concert hall on November 13, 2015 in Paris, France. Gunfire and explosions in multiple locations erupted in the French capital with early casualty reports indicating at least 60 dead. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)
Rescue workers evacuate an injured person near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, on November 13, 2015. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGETDOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images
Forensic experts inspect the site of an attack, a restaurant outside the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, early on November 14, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Forensic experts inspect the site of an attack, a restaurant outside the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, early on November 14, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Police inspect the site of an attack outside the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, early on November 14, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 13: Spectators are distressed after news of the bombing and terrorist attacks in Paris reaches the fans after the International Friendly match between France and Germany at the Stade de France on November 13, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Bongarts/Getty Images)
TOPSHOTS A person watches TV in Rennes as French president Francois Hollande adresses the nation on November 13, 2015 after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and closed borders . AFP PHOTO / DAMIEN MEYERDAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOTS A handout picture taken and released on November 13, 2015 by the Presidence of the Republique shows (from L) French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and French President Francois Hollande attending an emergency meeting at the Interior Minister on November 13, 2015, after several attacks in Paris. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris on Friday, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / PRESIDENCE DE LA REPUBLIQUE / CHRISTELLE ALIX RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / PRESIDENCE DE LA REPUBLIQUE / CHRISTELLE ALIX " - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTSCHRISTELLE ALIX/AFP/Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 13: Policemen patrol the streets during gunfire near the Bataclan concert hall on November 13, 2015 in Paris, France. Gunfire and explosions in multiple locations erupted in the French capital with early casualty reports indicating at least 60 dead. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)
Journalists take cover near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, on November 13, 2015. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGETDOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images
Police forces stand guard outside the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, late on November 13, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers stand in a restaurant following an attack in central Paris, on November 13, 2015. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGETDOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images
Police forces stand guard outside the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, early on November 14, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 13: Policemen patrol the streets during gunfire near the Bataclan concert hall on November 13, 2015 in Paris, France. Gunfire and explosions in multiple locations erupted in the French capital with early casualty reports indicating at least 60 dead. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)
Forensic experts inspect the site of an attack outside the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, late on November 13, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 13: Policemen patrol the streets during gunfire near the Bataclan concert hall on November 13, 2015 in Paris, France. Gunfire and explosions in multiple locations erupted in the French capital with early casualty reports indicating at least 60 dead. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)
Investigators work outside a bar near the Stade de France where explosions were reported to have detonated outside the stadium during the France vs German friendly soccer match near Paris, November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Gonazlo Fuentes
Forensic experts inspect the site of an attack, a restaurant outside the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, late on November 13, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 13: Policemen patrol the streets during gunfire near the Bataclan concert hall on November 13, 2015 in Paris, France. Gunfire and explosions in multiple locations erupted in the French capital with early casualty reports indicating at least 60 dead. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 13: Policemen patrol the streets during gunfire near the Bataclan concert hall on November 13, 2015 in Paris, France. Gunfire and explosions in multiple locations erupted in the French capital with early casualty reports indicating at least 60 dead. (Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)
French special forces evacuate people, including an injured man holding his head, as people gather near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY French fire brigade members aid an injured individual near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. At least 30 people were killed in attacks in Paris and a hostage situation was under way at the concert hall in the French capital, French media reported on Friday. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
Forensic experts inspect the site of an attack, a restaurant outside the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, early on November 14, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFEFRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
French special forces evacuate people, including an injured man holding his head, as people gather near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY French fire brigade members aid an injured individual near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. At least 30 people were killed in attacks in Paris and a hostage situation was under way at the concert hall in the French capital, French media reported on Friday. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURYAn injured man holds his head as people gather near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. At least 30 people were killed in attacks in Paris and a hostage situation was under way at a concert hall in the French capital, French media reported on Friday. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY French fire brigade members aid an injured individual near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. At least 30 people were killed in attacks in Paris and a hostage situation was under way at the concert hall in the French capital, French media reported on Friday. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
Rescuers workers evacuate a man on a stretcher near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers workers evacuate a woman near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Police officers of the armed response unit man a position close to the Bataclan theatre after a series of gun and bomb attacks occurred across Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Police officers of the armed response unit man a position close to the Bataclan theatre after a series of gun and bomb attacks occurred across Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
French fire brigade members aid an injured individual near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris. Photo: Reuters
French special forces evacuate people, including an injured man holding his head, as people gather near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris. Photo: Reuters
People take cover and photos near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Forensic experts inspect the site of an attack outside the Stade de France stadium. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Forensic experts inspect the site of an attack outside the Stade de France stadium. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
A riot police officer stands by an ambulance near the Bataclan concert hall in central ParisPhoto: AFP/Getty Images
A riot police officer stands by an ambulance near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Police secure the area close Jules Ferry Square in central Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Emergency services attend the scene as victims lay on the pavement outside a Paris restaurant. Photo: AP
Victims lay on the pavement in a Paris restaurant. Photo: AP
Rescue service personnel working near covered bodies outside a restaurant following shooting incidents in Paris. Photo: Reuters
An injured man holds his head as people gather near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris. Photo: Reuters
Fans on the pitch at the Stade de France after news of explosion's in Paris broke. Photo: PA
Police stand outside the Stade de France where explosions were reported to have detonated outside the stadium during the France vs German friendly soccer match. Photo: Reuters
French president Francois Hollande addresses the nation after the attacks occurred across Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers workers evacuate victims near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers workers evacuate a man on a stretcher near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers and police gather outside the Stade de France stadium. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Police control crowds leaving the Stade de France where explosions were reported to have detonated. Photo: Reuters
Rescue service personnel working near covered bodies outside a restaurant following shooting incidents in Paris. Photo: Reuters
Rescue workers at the scene as victims lay on the pavement outside a Paris restaurant. Photo: AP
Rescue service personnel work near a covered body outside a restaurant following shooting incidents in Paris. Photo: Reuters
Rescuers workers evacuate a woman near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Police secure the area close Jules Ferry Square in central Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Police secure the area close Jules Ferry Square in central Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Police secure the area close Jules Ferry Square in central Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Fans pitchside at the Stade de France after news of explosion's in Paris broke. Photo: PA
Distressed looking French fans by the pitch after the end of the match at the Stade de France. Photo: PA Wire
A woman is evacuated as rescuers ferry an injured person into an ambulance in10th arrondissement of the French capital Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
A general view of the scene. Reuters/Philippe Wojazer
Spectators wait on the pitch of the Stade de France stadium following the friendly football match between France and Germany after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the stadium. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Victims lay on the pavement in a Paris restaurant. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Police stand outside the Stade de France where explosions were reported to have detonated outside the stadium during the France vs German friendly soccer match. Photo: Reuters
Police officers take position outside the Stade de France stadium. Photo: AP
A rescue worker walks plast a victim in the 10th district of Paris. Photo: AP
US President Barack Obama speaks to the press in Washington after being informed about the deadly attacks that rocked Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
A shootout occurred in a Paris restaurant and an explosion in a bar near a Paris stadium. It was unclear if the events were linked. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Rescue workers and medics work by victims in a Paris restaurant. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Rescue services personnel working at the scene. Photo: Reuters/ Philippe Wojazer
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH A general view of the scene shows rescue service personnel working near the covered bodies outside a restaurant following a shooting incident in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH A general view of the scene that shows rescue services personnel working near the covered bodies outside a restaurant following a shooting incident in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
A general view of the scene shows covered bodies outside a restaurant following a shooting incident in Paris, France=. Reuters/Philippe Wojazer
A general view of the scene that shows the covered bodies outside a restaurant following a shooting incident in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. Reuters/Philippe Wojazer
A photo of the scene. Photo: Tommy Pouilly ‏@5h55
Emergency workers at the scene. Photo: Tommy Pouilly/ ‏@5h55
Photo: Periscope/ @StephHannache
Victims lay on the pavement in a Paris restaurant. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Photo: Vincent Berthézène/ ‏@Vince66240
French fire brigade members aid an injured individual near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris. Photo: Reuters
Police stand outside the Stade de France where explosions were reported to have detonated outside the stadium during the France vs German friendly soccer match. Photo: Reuters
Crowds leave the Stade de France where explosions were reported to have detonated outside the stadium during the France vs German friendly match. Photo: Reuters
Police are seen outside a cafe in 10th arrondissement of the French capital Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Two men evacuate the Place de la Republique square in Paris as a police officer looks on, after several shootings. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
A man lies on the ground as French police check his identity near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris. Photo: Reuters
Investigators work outside a bar near the Stade de France where explosions were reported to have detonated outside the stadium during the France vs German friendly soccer match. Photo: Reuters
Investigators work outside a bar near the Stade de France where explosions were reported to have detonated outside the stadium during the France vs German friendly soccer match. Photo: Reuters
Police are seen outside a cafe-restaurant in 10th arrondissement of the French capital Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
People are evacuated following an attack at the Bataclan concert venue in Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Police are seen outside a restaurant in 10th arrondissement of the French capital Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Police officers and rescue workers are seen at the Petit Cambodge restaurant in Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Police officers and rescue workers are seen at the Petit Cambodge restaurant after a shooting in Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Police secure the area following an attack in the 10th arrondissement of the French capital Paris. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

The most likely option is to send more Irish peacekeeping troops to a mission in Mali, in western Africa. This would allow the French to withdraw some of their soldiers from there for deployment to meet commitments elsewhere.

Mr Coveney and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald will also hold talks with their French counterparts on increased sharing of intelligence about the movements and locations of terrorists.

Comdt Naughton made his remarks on the military capacity at Raco's annual conference in Naas, Co Kildare.

The conference is due to be addressed later by Mr Coveney and Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett.

The conference also heard about a "brain drain" from the Defence Forces with 136 officers leaving early over the past two years.

Some had been poached by the private sector while others had applied successfully for jobs with companies like supermarket chains, Aldi and Lidl, as well as Ryanair and Aer Lingus and posts in IT and cyber areas.

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