Saturday 24 March 2018

Ireland 'at moderate risk of lone wolf jihadis'

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald at her desk in her office in Government Buildings, Merrion Street, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald at her desk in her office in Government Buildings, Merrion Street, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Ireland is at moderate risk of a 'lone wolf' terrorist attack, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has told the director of Europol, sources say.

The Tánasite held a private meeting with the director of Europol Rob Wainwright and Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan yesterday.

They discussed a variety of issues including the risk of jihadi attacks in Europe and gangland crime.

Europol is the European Union's law enforcement agency and assists member states in their fight against serious international crime and terrorism.

Ms Fitzgerald and Ms O'Sullivan are understood to have outlined the background to the ongoing feud involving the Kinahan and Hutch gangs in Dublin's north inner city.

The meeting with Mr Wainwright came ahead of the announcement of a new North Inner City Forum today.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is to travel to the area where families have been most affected by the seven murders linked to the gangland warfare where he will announce details of the forum.

It will consist of local community representatives, politicians and be chaired by an independent person.

In the Dáil yesterday, Mr Kenny said: "It is important to reflect on the benefits of a rising economy on social injustice, unfairness and inequality and to demonstrate that Government does care about the quality of people's lives.

"My visits to the north inner city are a case in point. Within 100 yards of the IFSC, I witnessed people who deal in misery for money on the streets.

"Garda resources and facilities are needed to deal with these things and clean up these places. We also need to help those who have been waylaid," he said.

It is understood that during the Europol briefing Ms Fitzgerald detailed the Government's attempts to combat organised crime.

She told Mr Wainright the issue was a particular concern for Ireland at the moment given the gangland killings of recent months.

While she said it required a robust response locally from Gardaí, the State saw organised crime as an "international phenomenon" and welcomed ongoing support from authorities across Europe.

In relation to terrorism, the three officials discussed the ongoing need for vigilance on the EU-wide scale, acknowledging that the Nice attack was a further sign of a growing problems.

Ireland's threat level is rated as "relatively low" but no State is considered immune.

Irish Independent

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