FORTY people have travelled from Ireland to fight with Islamic State in Syria, former justice minister Alan Shatter has said.
The Dublin TD has said that there was "no moral principle which says you can be neutral when it comes to a group of individuals who believe in beheading people, who glory in death, who enslave women, who inflict terrible tortures on individuals and who basically are responsible for dreadful, appalling atrocities both within Iraq and Syria and quite happy to export their fanaticism to other parts of the world".
During his time as minister, Mr Shatter met other politicians from across the EU to discuss how to prevent terror attacks.
"We were aware of in the region of 30-40 people from this country who had gone to fight with Islamic State in Syria," he said.
Asked by Pat Kenny on Newstalk if they were Irish citizens, he replied: "Yes, most of them were.
"Not every individual in this category in this country would have been born into the Muslim community," he added.
Mr Shatter said people had to be "terribly naïve" if they think we can ignore the threat of Islamic State.
"It is disturbing that this event happened in Paris without some insight by intelligence authorities to indicate that it was going to happen.
"I have no doubt that security services not just in the UK but in other countries have foiled similar events," he said.
He agreed with the assessment of Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald who have said that the risk of terrorist attack in Ireland was low.
But he added that there is a possibility that Ireland could be used as a base to launch an attack elsewhere.
"We have a duty to the citizens of this country and a common interest with all other countries in Europe to confront and tackle this type of terrorism," he said.