Scores of gardaí being tested for elite armed unit to target gangsters
Scores of gardaí are undergoing fitness tests for the new Armed Support Unit (ASU), which is to combat the gangs involved in the Hutch/Kinahan feud.
The specialist unit was announced following two fatal shootings in three days in Dublin earlier this year.
The officers, from various districts in the DMR division, as well as other garda regions in the country, have already undergone a round of interviews with senior officers.
It is believed that in the region of 700 gardaí applied for the ASU.
A spokesperson for Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said that the unit was expected to be fully operational within the next two months.
"The establishment of the Armed Support Unit (ASU) is being progressed as a matter of priority.
"The Tánaiste has said that she expects it to be up-and-running by June or July," the spokesperson said.
In total, the new elite unit will be made up of 55 officers, including five sergeants and 50 armed gardaí.
The officers will go through an intense training regime including firearms and tactical training, once the members of the 55-man squad have been chosen.
Since the new unit was announced by Ms Fitzgerald in February, a further four people have been shot dead in Dublin.