Wednesday 18 September 2019

Caution urged over Christmas events in wake of Berlin attack

Defence Minister Paul Kehoe Photo: Tom Burke
Defence Minister Paul Kehoe Photo: Tom Burke

Kevin Doyle and Robin Schiller

Families should "exercise caution" when visiting festive events over the coming days, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan has said.

Mr Flanagan said that while there was no "specific evidence" that Ireland was a target for terrorist activity, we were "not immune".

Speaking in the wake of the tragic events in Berlin, Mr Flanagan asked members of the public to be aware of the dangers when attending "outdoor events, festival events and holidays events".

He said people should "follow the advice of gardaí and indeed to report any suspicious activity or behaviour to An Garda Síochána, who will enforce the law".

"My advice to Irish citizens travelling to Germany, indeed to Irish citizens travelling anywhere, is to exercise a high degree of caution," Mr Flanagan said when asked what advice the Foreign Affairs Department was giving people travelling to Europe this Christmas.

"Many European countries have a state of high alert.

"I acknowledge that the events of the last 48 hours have heightened tensions.

"My advice to Irish people would be exercise caution, to follow closely advice and guidance of the police authorities in European capitals and European countries, and also the local civic authorities."

He said people had "to be on the lookout in the context of what is a very troubled time in Europe".

Defence Minister Paul Kehoe said Ireland's threat level was at "moderate", but risk assessments were being carried out.

He said that meetings were being held involving the Defence Force intelligence section, the Justice Minister and Tánaiste Francis Fitzgerald and Taoiseach Enda Kenny to ensure security in the country.

Irish Independent

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